Monday, November 10, 2008

Back in the saddle again (or the dojo, anyway)

I returned to karate tonight--and damn, it felt GOOD. And I gotta say, I hadn't lost as much as I thought I might have (sure, she had to correct a few stances, kicks and punches here and there, but no more than she usually does, LOL). One thing that's striking me, though, even as I type this--I'm already getting kind of sore. I remember after my very first class and how I was pretty stiff and sore afterwards--and then after a while it just went away. It guess it speaks to how decent of shape I was in (that sentence doesn't sound quite right, but you know what I mean), when I was going regularly and being able to "take it" physically, compared to now, when I do feel a bit rusty. It's just like going to the gym, really--the first couple of times, you hurt like hell, but after getting into the habit, you just feel GOOD and energized. Damn--I was stronger than I thought for a while there. =-)

I told Sensei, too, that I was pretty sure I was going to have to drop my Masters work (both the semester and the program). I think I earned a few notches of respect when I told her that karate was more important to me...not that she would EVER encourage or ask me to stop my Masters work and put karate first, but the fact that I sat down on my own, did some thinking and prioritizing in my own life and came to that conclusion independently made her very happy. The Masters thing isn't a done deal--I talk to my advisor tomorrow--but frankly, unless I can get an extension (and this may be shady, but I'm totally going to play the "bipolar card" and see if I can get some kind of medical extension, if such a thing even exists), there's NO WAY I can finish this term. And you know, my Masters work has been hanging over me, adding to my stress level and just puts "one more thing" on my plate; hell, making even the tentative decision to just drop it and refocus on other things has already lifted a tremendous burden from my shoulders. And I just cannot put into words how good I felt to be back at the dojo, even just after one class. I stand taller, I'm more focused, I'm SMILING again--it's like nature's antidepressant. (OOOH. New campaign slogan: "Karate: Nature's Prozac.") Karate doesn't ADD to my stress level; it RELIEVES it. And I truly feel, at a very gut level, that all things considered--both internally (like the bipolar) and externally (lying fuckfaces)--that karate is where I need to focus myself. I'd rather do one thing at 100% than 2 things at 50%. And my psychic TOLD ME to follow my gut instincts more, so I am.

And the coolest part was that Sensei had a birthday present for me. (LOL--I don't say that like "Whoo hoo, I got a present!!" I say that because of the gift itself.) She gave me "The Bible of Karate"--and I don't know why, maybe it's the crazy and/or PMS in me, but I got a little misty- eyed when she gave it to me. I guess it's because I know how much karate means to HER--she truly lives and breathes it; it's in her BLOOD--and it was almost symbolic, I guess, that she recognizes that same fire is in me. I don't know if that makes sense.

But it meant the world to me.

I was a bit thrown, though, when I asked her if she thought I'd still be ready and able to test for my green belt in early February (after missing a few weeks) and she says, all casually, "Yes, of course you will--oh, and by the way, I moved promotions to mid January." Um, yeah, that's like TWO MONTHS from now. You generally need roughly four, MAYBE three months. But assuming that I get back on board hardcore and even throw in some Saturday classes as well, who knows?


Jen said...

I just took a shower and already found 2 new karate bruises on my arms--whoo hoo! I wear those bruises as badges of honor, because again, I'm kind of known as being a wimp/p*ssy, so to be engaged in an activity that regularly leaves me bruised--and I can take the punches and class with ALMOST a straight, wince-less face--is just cool.

And oddly, 1.5 hours after class, it's my NECK that's bothering me the most. I have no freakin' clue why, unless it somehow has to do with the way I hold my body and head during class (straight and tall, rather than slouching). Weird.

sparkydiva said...

waaaaaaaaait a second...let me get this straight. you want to postpone your master's for...karate? the endorphins from the exercise are what is making you feel so awesome...running down the street will give you that. and i understand how good that is making you feel, but - this is your M.A.S.T.E.R.S. we're talking about. if she's the kind of sensei she SHOULD be, she should be encouraging you to go as far as you can go professionally while finding some sort of balance in the dojo, even if that means she sees a little less of you while you're getting that accomplished. that dojo will still be there when you have your master's degree. i seem to recall you saying that was one of your goals, yes? THAT should make her proud.

btw - congrats on throwing the shirt at lcb - did it, by any chance, have a 50 pound weight wrapped up in it and hit him in the face? :)

Jen said...

But along with being a lead teacher this year, it's just TOO MUCH, Brandi. Karate is more than just "endorphins" to me--it's a whole different lifestyle/way of living. It's raising my self esteem and giving me something POSITIVE to focus on. My masters work has gotten to the point where it's just adding to stress and weighing me down. I couldnt get motivated to finish the term cuz I just dont CARE about it right now. Yeah, it's a goal, but shit, I'm only 32. =-) I got some work towards it done, but honestly, it's just stressing me out right now, once I added team lead to my regular teaching duties and started karate. It's just not where I want to put my time right now. i'm not giving up on it forever--just for now. Hell, I knew once I started team lead stuff that I was gonna be in trouble. And the way the program works at this school, it's hard to take just one class at a time--there's like this "bundle" of classes you take as a group, cuz they're all related. So I can't even say, I'll just cut back from like 4 to 1. They all kind of go together.

And FYI, I totally jacked up my neck, LOL. I rolled over in the middle of the night and just woke up like someone with nocturnal tourette's--I opened to eyes to hear "Fuck shit shit fuck fuck shit." It wss ME. My neck was SCREAMING at me. But I realized, when I went into the kitchen to get a class of water and raised my arms to get a class from the cupboard, that it's more than my neck. It's my upper back area, too. There was no point in class last night at which I threw a punch or anything and thought, "Crap, I'm gonna pay for THAT later." I just did something weird. I'll ask the dr about it today (I have to go --yeah, it's my "girlie doctor," but I'm sure she'll know SOMETHING about the muscle groups up there)

Nik said...

Hmmm, not sure I understand this decision, but you gotta do what's right for you. I do think the relationship that you have with your sensei is awesome and it's cool that she gave you that gift. Good luck w/ your promotion prep, sounds like it's gonna be pretty brutal for you, but you're pretty stubborn, so I've no doubt you can do it.

anna said...

That's WONDERFUL!!! I'm so glad you're getting back to karate! I'm sure the exercise, the confidence & the sense of accomplishment it brings to you is more needed now than another degree. You can get your master's later. I'm glad you're focusing on your health now. Way to follow your instincts!

Go get a massage to help your neck. Also, take Ibuprofin and ice it for 20 minutes. It'll help. I get neck cramps all the time. They SUCK!

Jen said...

See, that's exactly the way I was thinking too, Anna.

Just went to doc and she said it's WHIPLASH. LOLOLOL. Only I could give myself whiplash from karate. But there's this move we do, this side-catch/quick look to left or right/side kick move we do--I guess I rocked that "quick look" part. LOL

anna said...

Whiplash?!?! Dang!
I bet the Ibuprofin and icing would still help.

Jen said...

its even worse than whiplash. he took an xray and im pretty jacked up. first, i'm developing arthritis there it looks like--AWESOME. but the main issue right now is that my middle to upper vertebrae--C3-5--are sitting are a freakin' 90 degree angle to the rest of my vertebrae. he doesnt know what happened, but he'd have to guess that it has been slowly happening over time, and that whatever I did last night was just enough for that final "click" to the right and make it start hitting nerves. he said if I had rotated it that severely all at once I definitely would have known.

he did a few things that i dont want to talk about because they hurt so bad, but mostly I have to wait a few days for the muscles to relax before he can even get close enough to really touch me and be able to do anything to me. he said right now, i'm too stiff and anything he would do would hurt so badly that i'd never come back again, LOL.

so....yup. one more for your book of Jen's Weird Medical Crap, Brandi. =-) but based on the degree of rotation, he was pretty surprised that i didnt have to come in sooner than this due to pain.

sparkydiva said...

hmmm...i've lost count of what chapter i'm on now. *sigh*. you're going to need a room in my nursing home.

Jen said...

B: start a 2nd volume. We can call it Jen: The Aging Years.

And you know what's weird? Renee reminded me that when I went to the psychic NINE DAYS AGO, and asked her about my health and any major issues to be looking out for, the main thing she picked up that i was going to have issues with were "bone problems." And then I get this arthritis info today. Weird.