Thursday, April 23, 2009

On My Way to my First Karate Class

 "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 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. 

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