Saturday, September 4, 2010

Belt Test - Felling a Little Yellow

It has been a rough few days here in the Northeast. The temperature has been soaring in the upper 90's Schools in Maine have cancelled their after school sports and some have even closed all together.

Wednesday's kata class was surprisingly full. Usually when it is hot like that, people will stay home. I think some wanted to make sure that they got their hours in before the belt test. We did the usual kihon, then fitness. We lined up for kata, and went through just a few of them when Shihan stopped us. Some of us didn't look healthy, me included, I am sure. So we stopped and just worked on self defense.

Last night, Friday, the temperature broke somewhat because we expected a hurricane to come up the east coast. So many people kept wishing for it to hit. It wasn't upper 90's but it was still hot and muggy and none of the wind had come in yet.

The dojo was packed and it was steamy when I got in. Kids were running about doing cartwheels, parents are trying to stop them so they can save their energy. Adults, all smiles and chit chatting, were stretching. For some reason I was nervous. Maybe it is because I haven't trained practically all summer, but still, I know my stuff and shouldn't have been as nervous. We did kihon to a 40 count, rather than a 20 count  we do in class. My balance was off ,which was expected, especially with kicks. I dreaded the thought of roundhouse kicks, and they were pretty bad, especially pivoting on my bad foot. I remembered all my katas, but messed up ido geiko (moving basics) a couple times.

Shop the Official UFC StoreAfter a water break it was time for sparring. I was actually feeling very nervous. I had butterflies in my stomach and I didn't want to spar. I don't know what was wrong with me. I went to Shihan hoping that he would say that I should sit out because of the injuries. Instead he said to focus on hitting with my hands and not to kick.

We were told to line up, "Get in front of someone you love!". Sammy and I matched ourselves together. Sempai Scott kicked me out of line though because he needed to grade her. So I jumped in with Bill. Bill was going for his orange stripe. So I felt reasonably comfortable fighting him, knowing I could go easy with him while practicing technique.

Just before we were to fight, Shihan told me to get with Ryan. Ryan and I fight hard because we are tournament fighters. I don't think it starts that way, it escalates to hard fighting. He got me a few times that I didn't block and I was so mad at my self. I tried to just punch, but I can't think when I fight and started to kick too. The round was over and we bowed to Shihan, then each other and we were told to rotate.

"Wait! Ryan and Patty, I want you two to stay together."

"Oh great.", we said in unison, half loving it, half dreading it

After the second fight I was limping and Sensei Kris had me sit out. It was my calf that was bothering me. Really tight. After I ripped the calf muscle and it was almost healed, is when I broke the toe and couldn't exercise it properly. The calf was very tight and hurt.

I did earn my Yellow belt but have a lot to work on. The notes on the back of the scoring sheet said that I lacked the power and speed that Shihan expects of me. He said he didn't know if it was from the broken toe or not but I need to work on it. He did say that I had excellent sparring.

That was the first time that I had a disappointing comment in a grading and it stung me. Usually comments are like, work on balance, kia louder, or work on push-ups. I signed the grade and was handing it back, when Shihan said to hold on to it and reflect on it for the weekend. Ouch, even more.

So I am reflecting on how bad I let myself so this summer. I have a ton of excuses, but excuses won't get me to win the world's. Still, even with all the desire I have, I don't have the focus. I think when my husband deploys next week, I can pour myself into the fitness. It will probably keep my mind off of reality of a year's separation. Sensei K isn't working right now and I'll be able to hike and play with her during the day.