As some of you know my black belt journey officially began three years ago when Beth and I decided to take a class together. Our oldest daughter, Hope, had already been taking karate for a year and we were looking for something, exercise related, that we would be able to do together.
Secretly though, I’ve always wanted to learn martial arts. As a chubby child, I was always fascinated with martial arts films but my husky Irish body was not going to be able to do them and my lazy, tv riddled mind was not willing to really try.
Jump forward a few decades and my mindset was a bit different. My body was in the worst shape of my life, however. I was over 260 lbs and was very unhappy with my appearance. My mind was finally ready for a change–the question was, would my body be up for the challenge?
The body was definitely up for it, but my mind was an inconsistent player. My mental gymnastics are well documented in my blog from last summer titles Transformation. But from that time on my body and mind have been preparing for this current experience.
A few weeks ago, Beth and I received our invitations to participate in preparation classes for black belt testing. The classes are weekly and each time we must demonstrate moves that we have been practicing.
The workouts are intense, but I have been getting ready for then by following a Jillian Michaels workout plan this past summer and recently I have started push-up and sit-up challenges to endure the up mount long workout. My body has been coping well with the workouts, but it has astounded me what a mind f@$k those classes are. Thankfully my mind is coping, but there are moments when the cracks are visible.
So here we are 6 weeks out and the black belt journal recommends a workout of 50 jump ropes, 50 front kicks, 20 lunges, 50 jumping jacks, 20 push-ups and 40 sit-ups. After running today, I came home and went through the majority of the workout. Note to self, front kicks after running are not a good combination.
I then ran through my 10 katas after my run and during my workout to try and create a situation similar to what they say testing will be like–Workout interrupted by testing.
Tonight finds Beth and I preparing for the last few self defense moves that we need to demonstrate this Wednesday. I can’t believe that 3 years ago we started this on a lark and it developed into a commitment and then transformed into a lifestyle. A lifestyle of exercising and improving ourselves together. And that is one of the best things about this journey–that we have gotten to do it together.