Friday, September 12, 2008

So long, farewell.

I can’t pull two thoughts together for this post because I’m going to CHINA tomorrow. It’s so exciting, intimidating, and downright exhausting thinking of what is in store for us there. I hope to be able to keep the blog fairly well updated with the training over there. But if not, expect a deluge of posts when we return in two weeks. I am going to go with no expectations except for adventure, and hopefully, will come back with all kinds of brilliant philosophical and kung fu insights. Or at least come back with some fun souvenirs and good photos.

Training last night, I got to thinking about how different classes will be for everyone still here with so many of us gone. And I realized, that while taking 21 people out of the mix will affect the numbers somewhat, there is such a strong group of new folks that the absence of those China-bound will not be felt that drastically. And while, I like being missed, I am glad to think that temple won’t be a ghost town while we're away. See you all soon!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Aaaaand we're BACK

Last night, the first half of L2 was an hour and 15 minutes long. Not the first time and I'm sure not the last. but then, we only had six minutes of stretch break before we started again. As the third to go in the wall stretch, I had just enough time to sit down before I heard "Line up!" no great tragedy. I was actually able to waibaitui much stronger having not just strained my hip flexors in the stretch. But when I woke up this morning, I felt the full force of what had happened. Absolutely ZERO stretching.

I go through phases stretching. Sometimes I come home and it's the first thing I do. Or I do it hot from the shower, or when I wake up. Sometimes I have a routine, sometimes I just hop out of bed, touch my toes and run to work. The hour before training I spend a good bit stretching. It feels great after sitting at a desk all day. My recent laziness, culminating with no stretch last night, resulted in an unforeseen level of soreness today. Some muscle around my knee that never hurt before was berating me the whole walk to work. I forgot how quickly you return to sore muscles when you take time off. More importantly, I forgot the crucial message I always give first timers - you MUST stretch. So I'm going to keep this short so that I don't get too comfortable here, and I'm gonna go make amends to my now VERY sore legs.
I do love it though. It's a sign I'm getting back in the groove.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sloth Style

Last week, I became a master of a rare animal form- one so closely guarded, only a few people have every had the chance to see it, let alone learn it. But I can now name myself amongst the few who have perfected this rare art: sloth style.

In the past we've talked about how KF can be so addictive, that you go into over-training mode without realizing it. You have to take a serious step back and assess yourself when you might be injured. It got to where the only way I could keep myself from training, and rest my body, was to leave all my gear at home.

Then somewhere in the middle of the summer I got deluged with activities and obligations and I was only making it three times a week. "That's okay," I told myself. "Three is still plenty to maintain." then I needed a week of rest. Or two. And I was still only getting three a week. "That's okay. You need to let your brain reboot also." Then I hurt my back and it all went downhill. "That's okay, you don't want to seriously injure yourself, you want to be healthy for the China trip." The voice in my head continued to smother my guilt. A back injury is really hard to push through, because it affects nearly every move you do and you end up so frustrated and in pain that it really is a downer to even come to class. But I knew I couldn't use that excuse forever. Still... "That's okay," the voice in my head continued to reassure me. "Reboot yourself. You have the rest of your life." Stupid devil on my shoulder. Never listen to that little voice. It's the siren song of your doom.

Suddenly, China deployment is this Saturday and I only trained ONCE last week. What the heck?!?! I came to Level Two ready to punish myself, but I realized I lost the chance weeks ago. Somewhere in there, I crossed over from the training addiction to the laziness addiction. Now, I'm glad I realized some balance in my life, and got other extracurriculars going. And I really had a blast this summer. But ONCE? It's amazing how quickly you find the joy of sitting on the sofa and reading for hours, or wasting a lazy sunday in the coffee shop and the park.

This is exactly why I over-trained. Because I knew as soon as I allowed myself the possibility of not training just because, that I would rapidly slide into sloth. Moderation is not a strong point of mine, and balancing in the middle has always been tough. Now suddenly I am slow and heavy and sloppy; my endurance is shot. I'm not sore, but what does that get me? I have to be
representing in China in just a few short days.

Hopefully, tonight's training will help kick start a successful week's prelude. While it won't have me back jumping higher and moving faster, at least I can re-coordinate and sharpen what I've got. And heck, whatever happens, I'm gonna be in Ch-Ch-Ch-China! Maybe everyone else will be learning mantis and tiger, but I'll show them something they never saw before. Sloth Claw!