Sunday, October 21, 2007

Getting closer

At this writing, I am about 3 days away from testing. I'm not really nervous as of yet. I'm sure the butterflies will kick in just as I get there, I'm sure.

I haven't written like I usually do as I had a TKD related injury. I'm fine now, but it took a few days to heal so that I could type without it hurting! I'll explain in a moment.

We didn't have the usual Wednesday morning class, as SW was flying out to Fall Nationals that day, so I only had the evening classes, which was fine. Drew had his Wednesday class, and they did a practice graduation after doing some suicide drills. ;-) That's right, get them good and tired first! Drew was the first one up, as he was the only real Tiny Tiger, meaning that being the age he's at, he can still do only half the form and with the assistance of an instructor. Once he turns 7, he doesn't have that luxury. If he knew it all by himself, and the whole thing, then he could be eligible to go into the Karate for Kids program, and test like a 7 year old, but seeing as this is the first testing he's done in many months, I haven't pushed it. So, I watched as he did his half form with RA by himself in front of everyone, being the youngest one there, and the lowest ranked. Let me tell you, while it wasn't perfect, it was a lot better than I thought it would be! He did a great job! He still had some problems with his reverse hook, but considering that's an advanced move for a Camo belt (as it's a red belt/black belt recommended move), I think it's easily forgiven. He didn't wiggle or step out of place from where he should be. Later, after the older kids did it, RA commented to all ove them on how they were more wiggly and out of place than the 6 year old, and they should be able to do it as well as him, if not better. So Drew was actually getting a compliment and setting the example, which made him rather proud. I wasn't able to watch his weapons routine, but I assume he was fine. He plans to do his JB during graduation, and since it's optional and a freestyle (meaning he can't make any mistakes), he can get an extra fabric star for his uniform, which would be cool.

I took double classes, and we did practice graduation too. What was fun was that PS was back in class after a long absence, as she is hoping to start back regularly soon. Hooray! She's a lot of fun in class. We did some drills and such too first, and afterwards, we had NK and EL "judging" us. I am pleased to say that a lot of the finer details of things that I've been working on have paid off. They didn't feel I really had to do any extra tweaks at all, that I had nailed it. With my BME, I had to fine tune the "snake" move, but otherwise, it's good. It's just a hard move to do in the air vs. doing it with another person. We didn't do sparring, but being the only person who really needed practice with a board break, I did it. Got both breaks on the first try! Yay! During instructor class, we worked on teaching each other how to do different weapons forms. Since PS and I are closest in rank, even though there's a big of a chasm at the moment, I had drills to review with her, so I was teaching her the SJB drills and BME drills. I think she got the concepts pretty well, although I can't say how good a teacher I am with some of the more complicated moves. Part of what makes it difficult for her is that being that she works out from her sport wheelchair, there are still some things that are difficult because the chair gets in the way. I think one tip I gave her will help as she practices. It involved the SJB, and it was one I learned the hard way, but I think it will benefit her. She was accidentally clobbering herself with hers (thank goodness they are foam covered!), and she thought the chair was part of the problem. Well, the chair was, but the other thing that I learned, because I used to clobber myself in the head, and I have no chair, is that you have to keep your elbow up all the time. Kind of like doing it all the time with chicken wings. Seriously, I saw almost immediate improvement. I think with some practice, she'll have it in no time. :-)

I had to practice board breaking again. If I remember, I got the roundkick off in the first try, but not the reverse. I think it's that the kids were holding it too high and too far back. I did get it on the second try. So, I will have to make sure that my holders are not afraid, and they have to trust that I'm putting the boards in the right place. I know I'm tall, but they think my waist is about 5 feet off the ground, and I'm 5'10"! My waist isn't that high up, really, even if I do have long legs.

Then it happened. I, in turn, was helping hold a board for someone else, namely BU, who is probably the biggest guy in the school, and a 2nd degree. I am usually paired up with him often in classes, so I know his nature is to be gentle and not Mr. Macho, but he gets the job done too. So, I'm holding the board with another guy, and BU is doing some sort of reverse jump kick. My hands were placed (from my perspective behind the board) at the upper left and lower right corners. We locked the board out, and I know I locked my arms correctly. Then it happened. WHAM! Then some of the most intense pain I've had in a very, very, very long time eminating from my left hand. BU missed-- he hit the top left hand corner very hard, and it stung the tip of my left index finger, but worse, the impact severely injured the meaty part of my palm under my thumb of that hand. I had to walk away because I was in so much pain, and was trying to just calm myself down and not start crying in front of everyone, because no matter how much it hurt, even if it was broken, crying would be really embarassing, y'know? The pain radiated up and down my arm, especially between my wrist and elbow, and I couldn't get ice on it anytime soon. We did some joint lock stuff, but fortunately, my partner was sweet little MC, and she was patient and understanding that I couldn't do the drills completely, just one handed (literally). We bowed out, and I went to try to change my gi pants to my jeans, and I had to keep from screaming because I could barely move my hand. I could wiggle fingers, so I knew that was a good sign, but again the pain was so bad that I was tempted to drive straight to the hospital, which isn't far from there. I didn't. I just went home, and my husband had to help me with the littlest tasks. I iced it, wrapped it up loosely in an ace bandage, and loaded up on painkillers/stuff to help with the inflammation. By morning, it was a little better, and the swelling had gone down. I was getting more use of my hand, but it was very clear the following day, and especially two days later that I had this big black bruise on that meaty part of my hand. Thank goodness I'm a righty! The bruise is still there, but it's definitely getting better, thankfully. I have full use of my hand again, and it's just a little sore to the touch. I can make a fist again, and I'm not afraid of using it in sparring now! ;-) So, that was a little traumatic, but I'm glad that nothing is broken, and it's just a bad bruise.

So, tomorrow Drew gets one more practice class in, and I have one more practice class on Wednesday morning. After last Wednesday's reviews of how I was doing, I should feel pretty confident that I'll be fine. I just have to stay calm, and relax, because I know the material very well. I know what I have to do, and I just have to stay focused. I'll probably still get sick to my stomach before I start anyway. But I have to keep my eyes on the prize-- that long awaited, much anticipated, strongly earned 1st degree black belt.

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