I lay on my back with my hands under my butt and my heels one inch off the floor, wondering why the hell I am here doing this.
Lifting my heels to 45° hurts. Opening them as wide as I can hurts. Holding that position hurts. Dropping back down to one inch and closing my legs doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t exactly tickle either. Going back up to 45° is an excercise in pain.
I briefly drop my legs before imagining Kat scowling at me, I lift my legs back up to the proper position and scowl back. Kat isn’t even here and she’s being a bully. I’m going to miss her when she goes overseas.
Back down to one inch. I try tilting my hips upwards, but that doesn’t help either. My lower stomach and thighs are killing me.
The things I do for excercise I marvel. It’s not like I particularly enjoy this sort of stuff, right? I’m not a pain person. If I had a choice between the crazy abs workout from martial arts hell and drinking a mojito on a beach I’d choose the mojito and the beach every time right?
45°. Open. One inch. Close. Back up to 45°.
Actually I’m not even sure I like mojito’s. Sometimes they’re alright but other times they’re just too soda waterish. And I don’t like soda water.
I do like beaches though. I should really call Claire about doing that cleanup dive, it sounds like fun. Or as much fun as picking up rubbish from the ocean can really be. So, you know, lots of fun.
45°. Open. One inch. Close. 45°.
We roll over and stretch our stomachs out. Mine feels a bit like cold taffy – about to shatter into little pieces. I don’t pull too hard on it.
Then we break off into groups to practice our grading skills. I’m with two other 9th gup white belt-yellow stripes, guys that I’ve never actually worked with before. I feel about a million years older than them, and tired.
I don’t make much conversation, because I’ve never know how to interact with highschool aged boys. I can’t tell a good fart joke to save my life. High school boys are a group that I still don’t understand even now that I’m in my 20’s.
We go through our pattern, Chon-Ji Tul. I struggle to get the stance changes right in the second half, and briefly consider throwing my toys. I don’t. Instead I make myself stop after every turn and double check my feet. It’s slow going. I wish there were mirrors here.
We run through our four directional punch and four directional block fundamentals from last grading. I’m a little annoyed at how much I’ve let them both slip.
Then we run through sparing: Forearm guarding block, three offensive paces forward, step back into attention stance. Three defensive paces back, counter attack.
We’re supposed to yell out before we begin our defensive and before we begin our offensive. I do, but it sounds like a dying frog in a hall full of snakes. I don’t like yelling out. I don’t want people to hear me.
I’m tired, and my eyes hurt, and we’re done. My stomach muscles breath a sign of relief, and I touch my toes to try and loosen up my back.
If I enjoyed this my back wouldn’t be tense and sore.
I sort out the ‘good’ pain from the ‘bad’ pain and stretch the bits that can’t wait until I get home. Nobody enjoys this sort of thing, not really.
Leaving the hall I know I’ve got a silly smile on my face. I’m tired and I’m sore and I’m only smiling because I’m done. There’s no other reason to smile. Who the hell actually enjoys that sort of punishment?
I go home and fall asleep in the bath. I dream about doing the perfect pattern, and nailing the stance changes from gunnun sogi into niunja sogi.
The bath goes cold, and I know that I still have that stupid smile on my face.