"Is there anything you want to do, just for you, by yourself?", asked my husband last month.
My husband had to take a week of vacation so as to not lose the vacation time. Our two youngest kids are home schooled. The kids, that week went on a field trip, geography club, lunch with freinds, skiing with the town rec department, a trip to the library, spent two days helping out at the local food pantry with me, plus the time I spent with schooling the kids. Our oldest teen needed rides here and there from sports, teacher conference, and a late field trip where I had to pick her up at 11 at night. Just another week in the Pittman house.
Mike saw how everything I did, I did for kids with no time for me. One night, near the end of his 'vacation' as we settled into bed, Mike asked a simple question "Is there anything you want to do, just for you, by yourself?"
I was dumbfounded. I had nothing to say, so I stammered for a minute and blurted out that when I was a kid, I always wanted to learn karate. I hadn't been thinking about karate, not at all. There were lots of things I had been thinking about that would have made sense. I could have said a curves gym membership to lose weight, or a watercolor class, or a class where I could learn some crafty thing, like cake decorating or flower arranging. I actually had been talking about taking a pottery class just the day before with a friend.
I have no idea why I said karate that day. The only things I know about karate was from watching Bruce Lee when I was a kid, I knew there were different color belts, but I didn't what they meant with the exception that black belt was the highest you could get and you were a "bad ass" if you had one. He told me I should look into it. Remembering that 'Google is my friend', I found two schools. I choose the one nearest to me, geared up and headed out. I found that they aren't there anymore, out of business (stupid google). So home I went to look up the other school.
I went to Maine Kyokushin Karate and started to browsed their site. It looked to be a serious school for athletes. I watched the photo slide shows and saw that there was no one there like me, a 38 year old overweight stay at home mom. I saw lots of kids, lots of men and some women. The women on the site, well, they seemed very fit. It was intimidating. I got to the page where it said to print off a coupon for a free class and saw that it was a $79 dollar value 'Well, there goes that', I thought. I can't afford $79 a class. We were just getting by on Mike's check, so I decided it wasn't for me. That was that, I'd have to go to that cake decorating class after all.
So why can't I stop thinking about karate?
Karate involves cardio. I am 200 pounds and 5'6", cardio isn't my thing. I hate getting all sweaty. I hate trying to catch my breath. I hate falling behind. I decided long ago that I am cardio-phobic. I tried to run with my husband with a couch-to-5K program and couldn't get past week 1. My friend, Rosey, and I are doing weight training with a video and I am doing well with that. I am getting stronger, at least it looks that way with the worksheets I am filling out. 3 days a week we follow along the video, besides that, I really don't do much of anything. On the weight training program I am using, I am supposed to be doing 2 days of cardio, but I get winded and have to quit just a few minutes after the warm-up. I have only tried them a couple of times.
So I decided that I won't like it. I decided that I can't afford it. So why is the "free" pass sitting there pinned on my refrigerator with a calendar magnet from the local pizza place? Why did I mark the calendar with the date and time of a local tournament coming up? Why do I keep going back to mkkarate.com and looking around the site and checking the schedule?
With all the negatives, I still kept threatening myself with going to the class. Last Monday, I was going to go. I drove into the parking lot and saw lots of cars. I saw a ton of the cutest kids to ever wear a black uniform running around the large room. For some reason I just left. I kept saying I am too fat to do this, they will all be looking at me.
Today, April 23rd 2009, I am headed out the door, class begins in about an hour. I am going to beginner karate class tonight. If I let things like weight hold me back, my life will go by, and I will have done nothing but hide behind over-sized sweaters. What if I get really old and the only stories I can tell my great-grandkids is about how I always wanted to do something, instead of actually having done something.
I am a bundle of nerves.