Wednesday, September 13, 2006

OK, I'm in it deep now

A lot has happened in the last two days. The main thing that has happened is that I started working at our ATA school part-time during the days while Drew is in school. Just like any other situation I've ever had with this school, I've been just thrown into the water and told to swim when I don't know what to do. But every time, so far, I've been able to tread water-- at least so far.

There's a whole other aspect to running a dojo that most students really don't think about. All the contracts, inventory of gear, following up on bills, etc. is stuff that the school owner has to do other than teach. Well, now I am going to be doing some of that stuff too. Well, I won't be paying the bills, but so far, even just in the first two days, I have had to make appointments to get prospective students in for free trial lessons, I signed up my first student today (hooray! although Ma'am bailed me out a little bit when I goofed up slightly), been contacting the local media for a fundraising event that's on Saturday, making a flyer to be put in shop windows at the last minute for said fundraiser, taking messages, fielding all sorts of calls, and well, just figuring out which end is up and which is down. It's a lot to take over, but Ma'am seems to feel very relieved and confident that I'm there, even though I've assured her that as intelligent as she has told me she thinks I am, I'm gonna have a lot of Blond Polish chick moments (yes, I'm all of the above!), so be prepared. I think she's just relieved that SOMEBODY is here, and that there's at least someone to answer the phones and such and try to help get some of this stuff done. Hopefully there's a big learning curve. A lot of stuff is being thrown at me at once. But no total panic moments yet, and while there is a lot to do that I haven't been able to get to, she doesn't seem TOO worried...yet. We'll take it day by day. But as of today, which is only day 2, so far, so good.

Classwise, since Ma'am had to be at her other school unexpectedly, Mr. A taught class, had us warm up, do the reviewed the Songahm #2 and corresponding one-steps. I haven't done them in a year, and I swear, I must be brain dead. Maybe it's because there is so much going on in my life with us trying to sell our house, dealing with the first days of school, just trying to remember my OWN form...I just can't retain it for some reason. And here's the kicker-- I have to learn it again. I have my own class starting this coming Tuesday. YES. I AM GOING TO INSTRUCT MY OWN CLASS. Granted, it's just the bear cubs (3-4 year olds), hence the easiest and shortest class we own, but again, it's been a while since I've seen one since my son started as a cub more than a year and a half ago, and he's been a Tiny Tiger for a year now, and Tiny Tigers do things more like the way my classes do them. So, I asked Ma'am about that. She originally suggested hanging around for the Cubs class on Saturday, but we have the break-a-thon on Saturday, so that's out. She said she'd go over stuff on Monday with me, and perhaps help teach the first class with me on Tuesday, and then I'm on my own. I think I'm going to have to pull out my Instructor manual and start studying big time!

Anyway, in the meantime, it was a fairly sizable class, as some people were starting to get back into the routine of things with the start of school again. Penelope was back, and I always enjoy her. She's a camo belt now, so although she's in a wheelchair, she and I have the same form, and she was cramming what we've learned so far. Heck, even though I've learned parts, I was cramming stuff in too. Thank goodness Alex was helping us, since he's got the whole form down since he's a BB recommended. He's such a good kid. I was also getting the next section of the bo staff form, and showing what I had learned in the last week to Pen. She has some limitations due to the chair and rotation of her wrists, but otherwise, she picked up fast. I'm really liking the bo staff (gotta remember the Korean name for it) so far. Now, it helps that I bought myself a nice, lightweight XMA weapon to work with, which makes it feel seamless as I practice. Sparring-- eh, same old, same old. Leaving myself wide open at times, not staying loose between executing hits, etc. Someday I might get decent at it. At least I can sorta keep up. But overall, class went well.

So, I've entered a new phase in my quest for my black belt. I'm learning the business end of things, and I'm taking on my own class of preschoolers, and I'm still just a red collar at this point. I know at some point I'll be tested on it so I can be promoted to red/black....but not anytime soon, I'm sure. There's certainly a sense of anxiety that fills my being right now about everything. I've been told that I don't adapt to change well, and sometimes that's true. Even when it's self induced, it doesn't mean I get into the swing of things quickly. But I have to assure myself that I have people who will be working to help me not fail, and I have to not put so much pressure on myself, and just take things a step at a time.

Oh, one last thing that was a good thing, talk about being persistent and patient with myself. Board breaking-- it's foot week, and I've been working on a roundhouse kick to break for a while, but having a difficult time with it. I know that I've got it about 90%, but it's that 10% that's somehow eluding me. So since I don't need it to test for the next belt, and I can use another foot break to do it, I decided that I'd try to go back to doing a side kick break. I've been working on it for a year. I think doing side kick drills for forms and such for the past few months have finally paid off. I hadn't done a side kick break for a while, but tonight, on my second try, I got it. I think that was the fastest I'd ever done a side kick break ever! I knew exactly what I did wrong on the first one, and fixed it for the second and BAM! Oh yeah, I was excited, to say the least.

I have many self-doubts about myself. Many self-esteem issues, as many women have. I have gotten less confident about myself as an adult, and I have to realize that there are some people who DO believe in me, and they are genuine about it, so I need to start believing in myself. Perhaps I should take a lesson from myself with the board breaking tonight. Persistence and patience in myself is the key to my success.

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