Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Three Weeks

Ugh, this thumb.

Three weeks, and it's still fat and annoying.

I'm taking the splint off to bathe and type, but not much else.  And the space bar hurts it enough that I'm learning to hit it with my left.

On a positive note, my thumb and I resumed our 5 a.m. workout today with the training buddy after a two week hiatus.  90 minutes of warm-up drills, sparring, judo skills, and sometimes a quick jiu-jitsu roll is the best start to my day; it's awesome enough to make up for the fact that I have to get up crazy early to do it. Wednesdays are typically both long and productive, given the extra hours and extra energy I have.

The boys and I have been fortunate to have the training buddy in our lives these last few years. He taught Middle about lifting, got Little into BJJ, and has been a great example for both of them when it comes to healthy eating and clean living. He's upbeat and enthusiastic, even at 5 a.m., and all that positivity is infectious.  His playful attitude while sparring and rolling makes it actually fun to get my butt kicked in both activities.

The workout was definitely the high point of this particular Wednesday.  My neuropsych patient for today cancelled, so I'm home chilling out, doing laundry and house stuff.  I'll do cardio and JSD tonight if another big snowstorm doesn't close the dojang.  And I'm catching up on the blog. :)

This weekend will be an intensive mixture of BJJ and JSD activities, including a color belt test and two special events plus Sunday BJJ / Judo classes at the gym. Looking forward to all of it.

The upcoming test this weekend begins the 3 month countdown to what will likely be my own 2nd Dan test.  I need to be preparing for that, psychologically and physically, and the stupid thumb break has not been helpful in either case.

The psychological part has been a struggle as well.  Tests often seem to trigger people's egos and insecurities, and I am not immune.

Who knows?  Maybe that's part of the test.

Considering that most people do not promote beyond 2nd Dan, this could very well be my last test.  The promotion will give me the title of Sabumnim, or teacher.   And while I do indeed try to help and mentor and set a good example for the kids and color belts with whom I interact, I realize that I do not yet possess the abilities or insight I think that a true teacher needs to have.  The fact that people can get promoted to this rank and beyond - and can teach - without those skills is not my favorite thing.  I don't want to be part of that.  On the other hand, a lot of learning how to teach happens by doing it, and unfortunately, sometimes doing it poorly.

Another problem is that I don't feel that I am on par with the people I consider to be my mentors. Being the same rank as - or a rank above - people I know are far more advanced than I in their skills and knowledge creates an internal conflict for me.  I don't want to wear a belt and accept a rank I'm not sure I deserve.

Having said all of that, it's not really my call.  The Master chooses who is to test and not test.  It's his school, his decision.  And if I let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good, I only wind up cheating myself out of the all the benefits this pursuit has held for me for almost six years.

Changing my uniform didn't change much else in the last two years.  I train the same way regardless of what I'm wearing, and my focus tends to be on the process, with hope that the progress will happen at its natural pace.  As a black belt, I am helping more with the kids' classes, and I do have more requests for help from the color belt adult students.  I don't teach adult classes, and I don't desire the opportunity to do so at this point.  I am no more qualified to do that than I am to teach a yoga class, despite having practiced yoga in some form or another for 8 years.  I can certainly help someone new to yoga into a pose I have done a thousand times.  But that doesn't mean I'm particularly good at it myself, or that I understand it in any kind of depth. That level of teaching would require much more desire and experience and training than I've had.

The interesting thing is, I don't feel conflicted over my lack of ability to teach yoga.  The fact that I am not walking into yoga class wearing a shirt that says "yoga teacher" on it helps in that regard.  And since it takes roughly ten years of live training and a great deal of skill to earn a black belt in BJJ, I don't see myself feeling conflicted about my rank vs. abilities there. If I ever do earn a black belt in BJJ, (which would, frankly, really surprise me), I would hopefully feel qualified enough to teach it.

Venting done.  I've already decided that I will test when and if I am asked to do so, and I need to start preparing for that and focusing on the benefits, letting go of the conflicts.

This is supposed to be fun, dammit.  Fun.  And it has benefited me in so many ways for so many years.  I need to relax and accept it for what it is, take the good with the bad and just focus on the things that are in my control.  I have plenty to work on.  Let my position in the ranking system fall where it may.

I will have a paper to write if this is indeed my time to test. I need to start thinking of a theme for that.  Glad I'm blogging again.

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