Thursday, March 23, 2006

Welcome to the Leadership Program. That's right friends, I finally did it. I finally talked JC into it, with the provision that I pay for equipment and fees, and he pays tuition. Deal! With my TBSAH business starting to pick up again, and with my Communiversity participation rejection, I don't have to worry about the fees, so I paid off most of what I needed for now with the money I've already earned. I'm not going to the TBSAH conference this year, so this is what I'm spending my money on-- more self improvement, and some new marketable skills.

So, I originally sent an email to Ma'am tonight, and told her that I'm interested, but the fees that were listed weren't totaling up right, and I want to get the most bang for my bucks, so I would talk to her tonight. Going into her office early before class, she asked how I was, and I said, a little nervous. She replied, "Then maybe you aren't ready for this yet." I replied in turn that I was, it's just that when you make a big commitment like that and make a big decision like that, it's a little bit intimidating, but I've only been talking about it for several weeks now-- almost a month-- so I'm ready. I was nervous like this before I started my TBSAH business, and heck, I was like this once I decided I wanted to be-- and found out I was going to be-- a mother, so it's all par for the course. Ma'am is so great at making you feel at ease, and not pushing you to do what you are not ready to do, which I appreciate. She even said that soon enough, I could probably earn some money to pay off for equipment for Drew and I, which would be cool, as she does need some help, and she wasn't against me bringing my laptop or bringing my TBSAH work with me when I sat at the desk if needed when learning the business end of things. She knows that doing the business end of things will come a little easier to me than some kid, and she seems enthusiastic about me joining the program, so that's encouraging. I am just going to do my best, and put myself to the challenge. I start with leadership classes next week! I guess I'll be taking a double class on Wednesday nights, as that seems to me to be the easiest way to do it. I also have the feeling that with her opening up her Pennington ATA school, she needs the extra help, and while she doesn't say it directly, I think she's trying to hint that she wants help over there, so we'll see how it goes.

When I left her office, I was excited and still a little nervous. Sharon was there again-- I guess this is one of her nights with her kids-- and told her what I had just done. She was very encouraging too. She's really nice, but then again, all the adults I've met thusfar through this school have all been nice, and so have the kid instructors too. So, I walked into a nice, small class tonight where everyone was a color belt, so we could all work on the same stuff.

We had some fun warm ups, and I was partnered with Sharon, naturally (being the only girls and adults in the class). It was fun, and I've seen Drew do these drills in class. They were a little exhausting, but at least when you goof up, you goof up together and have a good giggle.

My form was really messed up. I thought I had the first half down, "sections A and B" as we've called it, and it turns out that I've had the second part of B messed up. Then there's sections C and D. I had section C down, and but remembering all of D has been confusing. Tonight was the first time we put A through D together, so as long as Rachel (aka Miss Chunko) talked us through it, I was fine, and getting things fixed in the process. So that helped, but I think I would've liked to have put all the pieces together earlier than tonight. At least I have my corrections now, and I can work on them. Sharon assured me that I will be doing this form again when I'm higher up, so it's harder the first time, but easier the second time (like for her-- this is her second time doing this form).

We moved to weapons, and they are still a breeze. Greg, Sharon's son, was teaching that part with those of us working on the bahng-mah-ee, and he was having a few of us show and lead, including me. I don't know if that was because he wanted to see if we knew it, or testing me, but I think I did okay. I had the whole thing down for so long, it was a breeze to explain and lead that one. I had problems with the board breaking again. Ma'am was catching me practicing, and she said, "Stop thinking about it!". I think for me, I have to warm up with it, and then I can do it, so I can get into the rhythm of the process. When I was trying, I was doing it the non-thinking way, and making no progress. I know, in retrospect, that I wasn't pivoting my waist enough. I do need to think about it-- just a little bit. I didn't break, but I did get the board to separate a smidgen.

Sparring, as usual, took a lot out of me. But I held my own. Sharon pointed out that I still leave myself wide open when kicking, so I was working on that. A blue belt kid tonight sparred me, and it was funny because he kinda fought like Drew, and I pointed that out, and we had fun doing silly sparring that way. (It's kinda like pawing at each other rather than throwing punches). The last round, Rachel fought me, and I had to be careful as she had no gear on, so she made some pointers too, which helped, and she's very good at what she does.

We closed out with some advanced kicking, and this time, it was "machine gun" roundkicks. I could do it on one side nonstop, but not the other, and after that first side of doing it, I was beat!

I got another stripe on my belt tonight (making the 3 out of 4 needed to graduate), and even as I went up for it, Rachel told me that I was doing a good job on my form, which was nice to hear. I am trying, after all! Even if I have to do it over a few belts up from now, I want it to be as good as I can do it now. If I compete at the end of April, then it has to be good, so more points the better I do it now.

OK, so now the pressure is on! The application to the ATA is off tonight, and Ma'am has the uniform ordered (I have to wear a lettered uniform now). This is the big time! And I can start leadership classes immediately. So, I guess that means next week. Leadership class in on Wednesday nights, so I will probably work it where Drew takes class, I come home and feed him, and then go for my own class, then leadership class is right after it, so I will be tired, but for scheduling purposes, it will be the easier way to go for now. I'm just going to take it one day at a time.

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