It's Monday. Four days from now, I will be getting ready for bed, knowing that I will be waking up to go to my black belt test.
I had a busy weekend. Friday night (and Thursday morning, come to think of it) was spent sparring, doing my best to keep my guard in close, not reaching to block stuff, to turtle up and move in, looking for openings and resisting the urge to throw the same right-leg side kick that I always throw. Saturday morning was spent in class, where I felt like the whole group of red stripes, myself included, needed a lot more work. I took a break, went to watch Little at Little League, then went back to work with the guru. He had me do the same form a bajillion times in super-super-slow-mo, then regular slow-mo, and just when I began asking myself why I was doing this wacky exercise, I watched myself and saw I was better. Much better.
"See that?" he asked. "Now do them ALL that way."
Right as usual.
I also did a lot of videotaping. "This could be a real confidence-killer," I said as I brought in the camera. "Why?" he asked. "It's honest. Never be afraid of the truth." Sure enough, when we looked at the video, there were things to fix. I didn't like watching the mistakes, but at least I could see where they were and do something about them. Got some video of myself sparring as well, which will need some closer examination too. There's lots to fix there. In any case, it was an excellent final-color-belt-session with the guru and I was grateful to him for the time he put in with me.
Sunday was challenging in a different way, as I spent it running with The Master and 5 of my fellow students at the Tough Mudder in Lehigh. I registered as a spectator and didn't do any of the obstacles, but I did surprise myself and run almost the whole 10 miles so that I could stay with the team and take the pictures. Considering that the whole reason I didn't want to register for it was that I was concerned, not about the obstacles, but about all of the running on difficult terrain and the possibility of slipping and blowing a knee or something the week before my test... I did all that running and it was just fine. And the last two weekends, I did two 5K races, which were also fine. Kind of bummed that I missed out on the fun obstacles, but it was a good compromise and it only cost me the $20 spectator fee, so I was happy. And the team got a lot of good pictures. Win win.
I wanted to treat this week as much like a normal week as possible, maybe with some extra hydration and extra (paleo-friendly) carbs starting Wednesday. I spent a chunk of my day with my favorite female mentor, then trained with Kickboxing Guy at 5, took cardio at 6 and class at 7 as usual. Tomorrow, I will work for about 2 hours in the morning, go out to lunch, then come back for evening classes and practice. As for the rest of the week, we'll see. Some people take the last few days off completely, but I don't see myself doing that. I might even spar on Friday. In some ways, the test is a Big Deal, but in other ways, it shouldn't be. If I'm not ready for it, taking Thursday and Friday off isn't going to make a difference. Might as well do what I want.
In any case, the 10 mile run and the 3 hours of practice tonight has earned me a hot bath and a cozy bed. Headed there now.