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May You Live in Interesting Times

There is a old Chinese proverb that goes "May you live in interesting times". It is generally considered a curse.

When I was weighing in my mind whether or not I wanted to participate in another karate promotion, one of the things I thought was that I wanted the event to be "meaningful". I didn't want it to just be about getting another stripe on my belt.

But by meaningful, I clearly meant "I want this event to be mentally and physically challenging but not so much so that it isn't also totally fun at all times. I want to be required to perform well, but only if I feel one hundred percent in body and mind." 

In other words, I want it to be a meaningful experience, in exactly the way that I am most comfortable with.

On Wednesday night, one of my fellow Senseis asked me how I was feeling. I made this whole profound speech about making my peace with my shoulder being hurt and with not feeling like the me I was 7 years ago. I made that speech like I knew exactly how I was going to feel out there and I was ok with all of it.

Interesting times...

I did a really good job on Wednesday. We all did. But it was not what I was expecting. I was more uncomfortable than I had thought I would be. I was more nervous than I had thought I would be. I was more tired than I had thought I would be. 

I have always had a problem with being in pain in front of people. I don't like to feel weak. It makes me very anxious. So it is fitting that the number one challenge of this promotion for me (so far anyway) has been to be in pain in front of a group of people. I have also always had a problem with control. So it is fitting that the number one challenge of this promotion for me (so far anyway) has been to try to accept the things that I have no control over. 

No matter what happens, after tonight it will all be over. (For me, anyway. Our students going for shodan have one more day on Sunday.)  I could tell you all the things I expect to happen and how I am preparing for each and every one of them. Or I could just get on the bus and see where it takes me.

I am looking forward to tonight. I am looking forward to doing my best.
I will also be really happy when it is over.

Sounds like I am taking promotion tonight, doesn't it?
Believe me, the irony is not lost on me.

Also, I know this is my blog and all, but I am also really looking forward to telling you all about our 3 newest black belts. They are doing awesome. And to be honest, I am getting a little sick of myself. 

Ok, time to pack my bag.
Ice pick, check.
Beef jerky, check.
Sleeping bag, check.
Jump rope, check.
Six blue LEGOS, check.
Fuzzy bunny slippers, check.

Ya'll didn't think I was really going to tell you what we do at promotion did you?

But look how happy that bear is this morning. 
I hope he isn't hungry.


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