Friday, May 30, 2008

Good medications and surviving Mr. Lee

I know I haven't posted much lately, but there really hasn't been much to post, even with my return back to classes. Graduation/testing are coming up in a couple of weeks, so that push to get all your material crammed into your head and everything practiced so that you do okay is going on at the TKD school. For me, most of it's pretty boring, and won't start to get interesting again until the next cycle, when I FINALLY get to switch weapons to BME.

Drew's been doing well generally. He's paying attention in class, and behaving himself, not getting too out of control during sparring. He's doing well enough with forms that he's leaning towards bypassing his permission to do one last Tiny Tiger testing and going for a full testing instead. He's turning 7 next week, which is when you are no longer a Tiny Tiger that performs half the form along with an instructor and gets half a belt for the effort. Since his birthday was so close to graduation, SW said she could test him one last time as a TT, which was an option for Drew. But I think he likes the second half of the form, and he knows it (or at least I think he knows most of it), so I asked if he wanted to do the whole form in a group with the other higher belts instead, and he said yes. I've given him options to bail back into the TT since it's the last time he can, but he's stuck with his answer. As long as he's doing it in a group with the other boys, I think he'll be okay. He'll still be able to watch the other kids a bit, but I think he generally knows the form anyway. Hopefully he'll be helping to lead them instead.

I have only two big things that I've been working on, namely my 20 second freestyle for weapons and my board breaks. I think my form is about as good as it's going to get at the moment. Knowing my kihaps and smoothing out transitions are the only stumbling blocks in my form at the moment (like the spin hook kick is an awkward transition), so the others can take some precedence. Wednesday night was the first time that I actually set up my three breaking stations for my testing board break. I was thankful that SW was teaching that night and made sure that I got the practice in, because, as I said, while I've practiced individual breaks, I hadn't set up the stations before to know how I wanted to set them up for distance, etc. For a first time, it wasn't too bad. I think everyone must think I have legs a mile long or something, because they kept standing too far away, and I'd have to pull them in closer. The only mistake I made in setting them up the first time was angling the board for my round kick. (Oh, the combination break I'm doing is a sidekick with my left foot, a roundkick with my left foot, and a front kick with my right foot.) Once I got that, it was fine. So today, I was able to get another chance to practice and set up, and while I didn't get the sidekick on the first shot (I did on the second), I got the angle of the roundkick right this time, and the frontkick was a snap (literally and figuratively). And to think this is all on plastic boards, which I hate, of course, but that's the way midterms go, unfortunately. If I could do wood, you know I...would. ;-)

Drew delayed going to class until tonight, since we don't have Cub Scouts again until September, and said instead of Tuesday class, he wanted to go to Friday class with Mr. Lee. (I can use that instead since that's a pretty common name for a TKD teacher, if you think about it! :-P But really, that's his name.) Neither Drew nor I had seen Mr. Lee in a while, so he was impressed to see how much Drew had grown, and I'm sure he was impressed with how much better Drew behaved compared to the last time he saw him. One thing about Mr. Lee is that you either love him or hate him as an instructor. Personally, he's a sweetie and I certainly consider him a friend. Really nice guy. As an instructor, he's brutal. Drew loves going to class with him, and I generally tend to avoid his classes, because they are too aerobic for my asthma. But, I think that due to taking some better asthma meds and allergy meds as of late (OTC Zyrtec for the allergies, and the Symbicort with my Singulair for the asthma), I've been able to breathe a little more easily and having been having asthma attacks as readily as before. Anyway, both Drew and I took the class with Mr. Lee today. And I can say I survived it. I'll probably be feeling it in the morning, but I'm sure I'll be okay. I was able to keep up for pretty much the entire class. I'll admit that I didn't do sparring tonight, since I didn't want to overdue it, and by the time I finished my boardbreaking, there wasn't a lot of time for me to gear up, it was just as well. I had done a lot more aerobic work tonight than I usually do, and kept up, so I was happy enough.

I also made a change in my 20 second freestyle. There's a transition that I was making to get the SJB from my left hand to my right that I didn't like, and I changed it to something going around my neck instead. Much easier, and looks more razzle dazzle. And you know I'm all about the razzle dazzle. I can't wait to be done with this damn thing! And since Sandy has lent me her nicer BME for a while, it'll be nice to work with a better balanced weapon when I get to it next cycle. I need to learn the whole form by August. I'm sure it can be done, but I technically don't have to learn the whole form just yet. I'd only have to learn it for competition purposes. So I have to think about that. If I learn it all now, then I'm going to be bored again. At least I think I will be bored again. Then again, BME is a much nicer weapons that I like, so perhaps it won't. I guess I'll have to see.

I've taken my two classes this week, but Drew hasn't, so he's going to forms class in the morning. I'm actually feeling okay enough with my board breaks in the last two days that I don't feel like I need to take boardbreaking class tomorrow. I think getting in a few more practices next week will be fine. As long as I break the boards within three tries, I'm fine, and both of the practices I've done, I've done it in two, so that's not bad. I'm not over-confident, mind you. But at the same time, I've practiced the individual breaks enough times over the years that they are second nature, and by just focusing, I can usually get the job done within those three tries. And seeing that on the first attempt to set up the boards I was doing fine, I'm feeling okay about it. I just have to take my time, that's all.

So, that's the update for now. We're both sailing along for the most part, and just trying to make our way to the next graduation. After that, I'll be continuing classes through the summer, while Drew will do Boot Camp the week after graduation, and then take the rest of the summer off until school starts again. We just have to push ourselves in the next couple of weeks to make it through!

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