Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mind Over Matter...

The real first step in my journey of a thousand miles was getting up the courage to even sign up for the adult karate class in the first place. I'm overweight, not in the best physical shape (but not terribly out of shape either), and 42 years old. I know nothing about karate except what I've seen as a spectator at my son's classes and in Jean Claude Van Damme movies. So, what in the world possessed me to want to pursue this so badly? At that point in time, your guess would have been as good as mine.

I had resigned myself to sign up for the adult class months before the next session would start. However, I must have talked myself out of it at least 5 to 10 times, rationalizing that a 42 year old, anything-but-athletic mom could never do well at something as physical as martial arts. "C'mon", I told myself, "you punch like a girl!", and "They are going to laugh at you." But the feeling I got when I did even the basics such as head blocks, leg blocks, front snap kicks and basic punches won out over all the negatives. I don’t know exactly how to explain the feeling, but the closest thing I can come to it is "confidence". Doing those basics - I felt almost athletic. I felt like I could do anything to which I set my mind. (And just to fast forward a little - that is exactly why I do not stray from my journey - the self confidence the martial arts gives me is addicting.)

And as with any other project I start, research is always my first step in the process. And martial arts was (and is) no different. I immersed myself in anything karate, taekwondo, or martial arts in general. I read many books, searched the internet, watched documentaries, movies…you name it, if it had anything at all to do with martial arts, I was all over it.

I continued practicing all the new techniques my son learned in the kids’ class, figuring I’d have a leg up (pun intended) on the other newbies who’d be signing up for the next adult class. I kept reading, watching and discussing anything I could get my hands/eyes on having to do with martial arts.

I started looking for a martial arts supply store so I could buy a gi. That sounded much easier than it was. I found one sorry excuse for a martial arts supply store in my area. And I really needed to be able to try the gi on because their sizes run differently than standard sizing…So what was I going to wear to these classes?

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