Still Kicking

So I’m still sort of hanging onto the blogosphere by my fingernails. It’s calmed down a bit around here, but I’m still juggling a few things, which is why I don’t post so often. It occurs to me that it was much easier to post when Sam nursed twelve times a day, because then I was spending a lot more time sitting the glider with the laptop pulled up to me while I fed her. Sam only nurses 2-3 times a day now, though, so I no longer have that mandatory sit-in-front-of-the-computer-so-I-don’t-go-crazy-while-nursing-the-baby-time anymore.

Both Michael and Sam are sick. I’m fighting to keep Cassie and me from getting whatever creeping crud they have. I’m so tired of trying to work around someone being sick. On Wednesday I had to take Cassie to the doctor for a check up. Every time I go, I have to initial a privacy statement. They give me the same paper each time, with a new date stamped on the bottom where I’m supposed to initial. I took a look at how many times I’d been in the doctor’s office with Cassie since August and I nearly fell over. Since June I’ve brought Cassie in seven times. And that’s just Cassie. I’ve also had quite a few appointments for Sam as well. And I’ve been to see my own doctor on two occasions during that time period. Why the hell can’t we stay out of the doctor’s office?

Every time one of the kids gets sick, it kills my exercise schedule. I’ve been trying to go to the day time classes at the karate dojo. Normally, I pack up some toys and a snack for Sam and I let her play on the side in a play pen while I take class. But I can’t go if either she or Cassie are sick, and I won’t go if I’m sick, so I’ve missed a lot of classes over the last few months. I’m feeling the effects too. We had a test Thursday night, and even though I wasn’t testing, I was reviewing, and man did I feel shaky on a lot of things. I’m having the same problem just getting into the gym. I can’t go if I’ve got a sick kid. The nursery won’t take ’em. Yet it seems to me that Sam always, ALWAYS gets sick within a week of me returning to the gym. I suspect it’s because someone else is bringing in their sick kid and just infecting the rest of the population. I’d like to catch the parents that do that sort of thing and slap the crap out of them. Really I would.

But anyway, I took this review Thursday night, and I was dragging. Michael was sick, Sam was sick, I haven’t been in class or to the gym much, and my interest in karate has been pretty low. I had to force myself to go to the test, and when I got there I wasn’t happy. Usually Michael and I get a sitter for the kids and we go together so it’s like a date (yeah, I know, a really weird date where we beat each other up), but he was sick so I had to go alone. Whine, whine, whine. And I went through the test, wondering what I was doing there. I just didn’t feel like I could hang, you know? I did not have my act together, and I hate feeling like that. There’s nothing that annoys me more than to see a black belt who can’t do their katas properly or keep up with the rest of the class. That’s a lazy black belt, and I realized that’s what I had become. Lazy.

I can’t just blame everything on the kids being sick. If I wanted to, I could have found a way to fit in the practice time and the class time. In fact, I have. After hearing my instructor complain about having the play pen in the dojo, I got kind of pissed. It’s a lot of work for me to show up to that day time class, what with having to feed Sam right before we go, and then packing toys and a snack and some juice, and then having to set up that damned play pen (it’s a bear to unfold), and then I get to go through class gritting my teeth every time she makes a noise because I know the instructor expects her to be quiet, but she’s only 18 months old, for pete’s sake. And so after his complaining, I kind of went on a tear about how hard it is for me to even get there and how I’m sick of missing classes and I realized that the afternoon classes weren’t even all that challenging anymore anyway so why was I going? I mean, I don’t even break a sweat when I’m there and that’s not good.

At some point, in the middle of this rant (which my poor husband had to listen to), I realized that if I wanted to change things, I was going to have to CHANGE things. In other words, I was going to have to drop the afternoon classes and start going to the evening classes instead. It’s the perfect solution. Michael stays home in the evenings, so I don’t have to take bring in Sam. If he’s watching the kids, I don’t have to worry about missing class because one of them is sick (although if I’m sick, forget it – I’m still not going). I can still take the same amount of classes if I double up one of the evenings I go and take a regular class along with that evening’s specialty class (black belt training or weapons training). Yeah, it would be perfect.

Except that my lazy ass didn’t want to do it.

Why? The evening classes are harder, for starters. The daytime classes are filled with older students who have various injuries (like me with my bum knees). The evening classes are mostly younger students. They’re also run by some really tough instructors, one of whom used to run the daytime class (back when it was a kick-ass class to take). And they spar a lot more in the evening classes. Sparring is hard work, let me tell you. It’s not only potentially painful if you get hit (and I know because I’ve had some ribs broken, plus both knees, plus my nose), but it’s also very aerobically demanding. In fact, an evening of sparring is just plain frickin’ exhausting.

But that’s what I want, right? Tougher classes, more time in class, a chance to feel like I’m worth my black belt?

My lazy ass started making excuses right away. “I have two bad knees — what if I get injured while sparring?” “I haven’t taken classes regularly in ages — what if I can’t keep up?” And my favorite… “But if Michael and I both take evening classes, we’ll never get to see each other any more!”

Whine, whine, whine. All this was sitting at the forefront of my little pea-brain during the review Thursday night. Then the instructor called me out on the floor with a group of brown belts to do some kata. Except I didn’t get to line up with them. Instead, he told me, “Sensei Helen, you stand back there, a little separate from the group. You’re going to do something different.”

And that’s when it hit me. Yeah, I get to do something different. I was the only black belt there that night, the only one who knew the black belt katas, the only one who was going to look killer doing the higher level stuff. And man, did that turn me on.

And I did do well. Fortunately, I have managed to squeeze in some practice time, and I looked good, doing MY kata while everyone else did something else. And it was a long kata too, which meant long after everyone else had finished up, I was still going, with everyone watching me.

I’m such a frikkin’ show off.

But it worked. I suddenly found my motivation to go back to evening classes. I like doing karate. I like that I do something different from most of my friends, that I do something HARD. I worked to earn my black belt, and I remember how Michael and I just about tore each other up during our black belt test, and how people to this day still come up to us and say, “Man, I remember that test. I thought you two were going to kill each other. That was so cool!”

So next week, I start evening classes again. I already told my instructor, and he’s very happy about that. He wants me back on a regular schedule, and I want that to.
Speaking of which, my blogging time is up. Time to go wake up the rest of the family. See ya later.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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