It's five days after Christmas, and I am sitting on my couch with a blanket, a box of kleenex, and enough cough drops to last me quite a while. I've been sick since December 23rd with the flu...or bronchitis...or strep throat.
Not only did my symptoms begin on that day, but my next door neighbors' house caught on fire from a space heater that was knocked over or malfunctioned (I found this out later that day). No one was hurt, but they lost their house. It's horrible that they lost their home, especially so close to Christmas, but I'm just glad that they are all okay.
Moving right along to Tae Kwon Do. . . December 16th was our last class and our Christmas party. Everyone brought snacks, and we spent two hours breaking boards and watching demos that the four black belts and I put on. We had a weapons demo with escrima sticks, canes, and a bokken; a couple of self defense techniques that a little green belt girl demonstrated with her black black grandmother as her uke; and a Tai Chi demo that in my opinion was a great eye opener for the class. Mr. M showed us the techniques first, using the slow, deliberate movements associated with Tai Chi, then applied those same techniques very effectively at regular speed against my head instructor, Mr. G.
There was also a pressure points demo that Mr. G did, and then mine, a self defense demo. Mr. G told me to choose a black belt to be my uke, and I chose him. Before class, I had asked blue belt J if he would help me run over them, as I have not worked on all of my self defense techniques against a live person since my brown stripe test. I had 8 total to demonstrate, and they went over better than I expected. I could tell that my reaction time has improved. Everything was much smoother. I messed up slightly on my striking target on a hook punch, but I was able to improvise and make it work, which was a great relief since improvising is not one of my strong points.
The most important part of this post is a piece of news that I've saved for last. About two weeks before the party, my instructors called me up to the front of the room after class. Of course I'm wondering "Oh no, what did I do?" but it was nothing like that. Instead, Mr. G told me that I would be testing for my 1st kyu red belt next week. I must have stared at him for a whole minute, unable to come up with anything to say. He further stated that if I wanted, I could wait until January to test. I chose that, because I am and have been battling doubts about my own abilities and not being good enough. That started a long discussion, in which I was basically told that they know their students' abilities and I have ridiculously high expectations of myself. I am ready if I will just stop having such high expectations and just listen to what they are saying.
I've really been thinking this over since that class and I have realized that all I can do is practice and when it comes time to test, just do what I know to do and see what happens from there. I think it's a matter of mental preparation for myself than anything.Once I get over being sick, I'm going to get back into the swing of things.