Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Day 57: Testing

My green stripe test is in four days.

For once, I feel solid on my material.  My endurance has never been better.  And I probably have twice the required attendance needed to test for the next rank.

I've never felt so ready - so pumped up - for a test before.

And then Friday I broke my toe.

Today I was back in class - taped up, but wincing with every twist, every hop.  I practiced my material... gingerly.

The sabumnims in the changing room counseled me not to test.  "It will be half-assed if you're injured," they told me.  "You'll feel crappy about your belt if you can't do everything on the test."  "Other students will be watching your example.  They won't know your foot is injured, just that your stances are sloppy." "You can always wait and double-test next time." 

They were trying to be helpful, and I guess they actually were - by giving voice to all of the doubts and fears that go through my own mind - the same doubts and fears and paralyzing perfectionism I'm working so hard to overcome as part of my martial arts training.

I gave their input some serious consideration.  But when it really comes down to it, this is my journey - not anyone else's.  I need to overcome these fears, not back down in the face of them.  I'm only responsible for myself and for doing my very best at any given time. 

Which I am committed to doing, injury or not.

Needless to say, I changed and went into kickboxing with renewed determination.  After class, I came home, ate, took Advil, and went back to the dojang to work on my notebook and squeeze in more solo practice on the longstick form.  By the end, I had restored one of the jumps and felt confident I'd have the other one back by Friday. 

Yes, it hurt.  And yes, I did it anyway.

The fifth tenet of Jung Sim Do is "Indomitable Spirit."  If that's what winds up being tested in me this Saturday, so be it. 

That's kind of the point of all of this.


Emily SHokes said...

Thank God for the words of caution you heard from yesterday. I am so proud of your decision. You rock! I was going back and forth about testing too. I was comfortable and proud about my material about 2 weeks ago and then was apparently told I was sloppy during class. They are there to help and improve us. You wrote it down so eloquently - we are being tested on our "Indomitable Spirit". You inspire, motivate and push me Kathy. True best friends are so hard to find and I am glad to be one of your many. We'll recover correctly after testing, I promise!

Kath said...

So glad we're doing this together - and you're right - we'll recover when it's over.

We don't know what lies within us until we're pushed. This will be a hard one for us both, but we'll wear our stripes proudly when it's over. XO