Friday, April 28, 2006

Just a kick in the mouth

Drew and I had our Interschool tournament tonight. Drew, of course being younger and lower ranked, went earlier in the evening. I have photographic proof!

This Drew sitting patiently (GASP!) for his turn.

This is Drew doing a happy punch for the camera.

Here's Drew receiving his medal for best "ki-haps" of the tournament. Here, he's doing a "GRRRR!" for Miss Chunko. I think that's because it's Miss Chunko's favorite (and she's seen to the right of the photo).

And finally, Drew showing off his new medal with that sneer of being the badass that he is. Word.

Well, after the tournament, I forget what happened, but Drew turned into Mr. Badass for the rest of the night, just having a sour attitude, etc. I was trying to get him changed and out the door, because my turn was in less than an hour and we had to go and eat between now and then. I had also tried to ask Ma'am what time I should be back, if it was still 6-ish, and she said, "I guess...". Well, that doesn't help me. We made it to Friendly's, scarfed down our dinner, and made it back in time for me to go and change. Fortunately, my event hadn't started yet, so I was in good shape. I went to change, and was about as ready as I could be to go. I knew that JC and Drew would spend part of the time outside, but with the exception of 2 minutes, that's all they did. They didn't come to watch me at all. There were only 3 of us, so it would've moved quickly, but no. Not even for the medal distribution at the end. They couldn't be bothered to get out of the car except to get a cheap ice cream at the convenience store next door. Believe me, I was not happy about this.

But I had other things to deal with while the guys sat in the car. I had a competition! And it figures that again, being the only adult color belt to show up, I have to be paired with a group. Last time, I was paired with older kids who were the same rank, and got all the golds because I was the only adult going. I thought that since again, I was the only adult color belt, and the only adult color belt in my age range to boot, I'd get all the golds again by default. But no. Ma'am decided to put me with the other two adult women who were competing. And they were both 2nd degree black belts. Crap. Now, unlike at the regional competition, I knew both of these women personally, and so I couldn't feel too much animosity against them. I still didn't like that Ma'am pitted me against them-- it's not a fair competition if that's the case-- but you can't go against it. Just go in and do what you can.

So let me put this in perspective even further-- I was up again Jeri S. and Karla W. According to the statistics posted as of tonight (which doesn't include the tournament last week yet), Jeri is 1st in weapons and sparring and 2nd in forms for 2nd degree black belts in the 40-49 year range IN THE STATE, and Karla is 1st in sparring, 2nd in form, and 3rd in weapons for 2nd degree in the 30-39 range IN THE STATE. And Ma'am is putting me up against these women? Geez. I mean, in class it's one thing, but competition? That's not exactly fair. But then again, the worst I could do in any of these categories was 3rd, since there was only 3 of us.

Sure enough, forms I got 3rd. The had a tiebreaker between Jeri and Karla on that one. In weapons, I got 3rd again. Then in sparring, Karla opted out for some reason, and it was just Jeri and me. I asked Jeri to go easy on me, as I suck at sparring, and she claimed she did too. (And this was before I saw her stats! She fibbed big time, or else she meant that this was her weak spot vs. the other disciplines.) So, there we were. It was the first time I actually sparred a woman who was about the same size as me, so in a sense, it was actually easier to not worry about punching in the wrong spots as much, since most of my competition is usually a lot shorter than me. I decided to just adopt the same attitude as I did before at regionals, which was just keep going until they say stop. I was surprised that I was actually racking up some points against Jeri. But at one point, BAM, just what I didn't need. Jeri kicked me in the jaw. I supposed it would've been worse had I not worn my mouthguard and helmet, but at this writing, 3 hours later, it still smarts like hell. Jeri apologized profusely, and made sure I was okay. Since I'm not about to be the crybaby and have a bad habit of being tough in the face of adversity, I proclaimed I was okay and kept going. In the end, it was very close. We were tied at 4 pts. a piece, and you need 5 to win. Sure enough, she got it. So, I got 2nd place for that one, but knowing that Jeri was a 2nd degree and I was able to keep up with her, that was pretty good. Upon later seeing that she's sparring champ for her age group and rank in the state, that made me feel a little better.

Thus concluded the tournament, and we got our medals-- my 2 bronze and 1 silver. At the end, Miss Chunko called us back, as she wanted to give one more prize out, which I didn't think they gave the adults. She gave me a pin for ATA spirit. I was happy that I got that over the 2 other ladies, considering they are much higher ranked and have been in the leadership program for a while. I thought I might have overheard something about giving it to me not so much for giving good loud yels and ki-haps (it runs in the family), but rather because of the fact that I showed up and battled it out with two people who were significantly higher ranked than me, just to get the experience and practice, and held my own. For that endeavor alone, I earned it. That was rather satisfying in itself, but somewhat lost in the fact that my family was outside and had no clue because they hadn't bothered to come in to support me.

So I guess tonight was a bit of a hollow victory. I think I just have to have the confidence that I have nothing to lose by trying. I still have a lot to learn, and hopefully by the next regional tournament, I'll be more of a force to be reckoned with.

Now, to get this jaw fixed...OUCH. I can't close my jaw without it hurting like hell. I can move my jaw directly up and down, but the slightest bit off in any other direction (such as for chewing or a few other things you wouldn't think that you move your jaw that much), OUCH. I can still talk, but I think that's due to my elastic tongue and the fact that my lips still work. So I can still be perfectly understood. I took two Motrin for it and it isn't working, and I've tried icing the joint, and that doesn't help either. I said I'd help with the Special Abilities class tomorrow, and I will, but I'm not sure if I'll go to my own class tomorrow. I'm tired, and Drew's been instructed to stay in bed later if he can, and I know I can't spar with this jaw. We'll see if I make it. I think I've put in my quota for the last two weeks and then some, so we'll see.

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