Nervous and excited
Now with updates
Today at 1:30, I'm testing in karate and (hopefully) getting promoted to my white stripe. Now, in the realm of all things karate, this is not the most significant of promotions--but it's significant to ME, for reasons I've discussed before (namely, that I've stuck with it the last few months and have actually worked at it pretty damn hard). I didn't THINK I was nervous till I woke up this morning (at TEN O'CLOCK ON A SATURDAY, which for other people is roughly equal to 3 am). Holy hell, am *I* a ball of nerves. I'm going to try to stay busy (and I still have to get ready, which should kill another 45 minutes or so) but man. Sensei has told me that she wouldn't test me if she didn't believe that I was good enough to be promoted--but what if I, like, totally choke?
PS--I learned some new stuff on Thursday, and once again, my T-rex arms impeded me from doing it the traditional way. LOL. Hearing her preface a new move with "--and Jen, you may not be able to do it this way because of your arms--" has become relatively commonplace. How could I get through 31 years of life without realizing that my arms fell short? (Pun intended)
I did it!! And, to my surprise, I actually received a yellow belt. She said that some Isshinryu schools DO issue a yellow belt instead of the white stripe, and she decided that T. (the 9 year old kid who was also beng promoted at my level) and I would get yellow belts instead today. So that IS pretty cool, to have an actual colored belt now.
There were a ton of people there, since T. brought his whole street with him. I had to perform my kata first (which I was a bit bitter about, because Sensei had promised me that I wouldn't have to do anything solo). I did get nervous and get stuck on one part (which PISSED ME OFF because I was doing it perfectly at home), but with a little prompting I was back on track. Then the others being promoted did their katas (it was a lot of fun to watch the black belt, B., do HIS kata--SO powerful).
Then we went outside to break boards.
The wooden boards were placed horizontally across two cement blocks. We white belts had to break it with out foot. T. went first and powered through it, and I was thinking, Crap, now if I CAN'T do it, I'm going to look like a total ass. As a result, I actually overestimated how much power it would take, kicked my foot through the board and slammed it onto the blacktop underneath. Son of a bitch. Still, I did it. Next, the green (going to brown) and black belts had to break the board with their hands (the traditional sideways karate chop). I was really impressed because it looked really hard. When they were done, Sensei said, "Hey, we have a couple of boards left." Then she looked at me and grinned. "Jen-san, you wanna give it a try?"
"With my hand?" I clarified. When she confirmed what I was AFRAID she was going to confirm, I respectfully let her know that I was just fine where I was. Then I thought, you know what? Screw it. So I stood up and told her that I was going to try it, after all. Everyone was suitably impressed, as this is a more advanced manuever. I kneeled down and she showed me the part of my hand to use and where on the board to aim for. I started to chicken out.
"Will it hurt?" I asked her.
"Only if you use the wrong part of your hand," she helpfully said.
"Or hit the wrong spot on the board," Sempai added.
Well, with all those people watching, I couldn't back out now. So I took a few practice swings, "breathed into it" like she told me (I still don't really know what that means, LOL--I just blew out really hard when my hand came down)--and holy shit, I brought that hand down with everything I had.
And I'll be damned if the bitch didn't break.
So we all signed each other's boards (the one I had signed was the one I broke with my hand, since that's obviously the one I was most proud of), and then we all went back inside to receive our belts.
Oh, and there may have been some sake for the adults. ;)
All in all, a GREAT day. I am SO PSYCHED. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready for a barbeque being held exclusively in my honor (okay, it's a birthday barbeque for someone else totally--but in MY mind, it's to celebrate my mad board-breaking skills).