Yesterday was a dichoto-day. If I made that word up, it is what it sounds like – a day that was a mix of good and bad. I want to clarify at the outset that this had nothing to do with work, which was fine (I am teaching a class at TekSource Corporate Learning this week, and have a good group of students). It is strictly with regard to diet and training.
I ate (during the day at work) like crap – too much of bad foods (I blame Audrey, but she didn’t actually force-feed me the muffin or the pizza, she just made them readily available (as well as the only things). She also put out all sorts of cookies for the afternoon snack, and my willpower faltered – I had three lady fingers. To compensate – although I did not set out with this goal – I skipped dinner. I got off the train from Toronto and drove straight to Taekwondo, where everything got back on track.
I had been really disheartened Monday and Tuesday about my prospects for testing for actually being ready for my test on June 2nd, and I decided that yesterday (Wednesday) was the day that I would make my final decision. While I know all of my patterns (poomsaes) I had not learned the knife-defense ‘one-step-sparring’ that I need as a requirement. That is, nine separate (and numbered, in order) methods of repelling a knife-wielding attacker. While that is something I am pretty good at, I would usually revert to Krav Maga, so learning the Taekwondo (actually Hapkido) methods were a challenge.
Miss Kelly (one of the senior instructors, who is testing for her 5th Dan Black Belt the day that I test for my 2nd Dan) and I had arranged to spend time on Wednesday going over the methods, and she agreed to allow me to record our session so that I could study the moves while on the road next week. She is an excellent teacher whom I have always liked and respected (she was Aaron’s favorite instructor when he was in TKD), and really knows her stuff.
One of the reasons I prefer working one-on-one with instructors, rather than working in a large class, is not simply the individual attention. I find that in most modern martial arts classes the focus is on teaching moves rather than teaching why we do the moves and analyzing them. As a Colour Belt suppose I had to cope, because as GrandMaster H.C. Kim once wrote ‘The study of martial arts really begins once you have achieved Black Belt Excellence.’ Until you have a strong knowledge of the basics it is impossible to start analyzing the advanced. However as a Black Belt I appreciate that when I learn a move in a one-on-one setting I can analyze, discuss, and really understand what it is that I am doing, as well as how likely I might successfully execute a particular move in either sparring or real-life situations. I find that by breaking down a move in this way it is easier for me to learn and absorb patterns and self-defense.
Working with Miss Kelly last night was such an opportunity, and while I came into the lesson with a slight knowledge of two or three of the moves, by the end of the evening I was much more confident that I knew what I was doing… even if I might not use most of those moves in real-life knife attacks. While I was able to execute all of the moves by the end of the evening, I am glad that I recorded them so that I can review them today and every day until I will never forget them. I will be watching them often, breaking them down in my head, and I predict that on my flight to Victoria next week I will be doing them over and over again in my head.
With regard to the diet, I decided this morning that I would start a two-day cleanse… which essentially means I am fasting, save for vitamin supplements. My weight has been fluctuating only slightly over the past few weeks, but it is still about 5lbs up from my low-point. I have lost (since January) 43lbs, and I have really been stuck there since mid-April. Every time I have done a two-day cleanse I have lost at least 5lbs, so it is entirely possible that I could test fifteen pounds lighter than I am today. That is a good goal, but I will settle for 10lbs. I say this knowing that Saturday evening I am taking the family to a Brazilian steakhouse – not a very good place to diet – but that is essentially the last hoorah before my final two-week push. Despite my travels (which, between now and the test will take me to Buffalo, Victoria, Vancouver, and Montreal) I am going to succeed, and do my absolute best on June 2nd.