Here's a sentence I never expected to say: we spent the entire day involved in some sort of karate event or another. It was graduation day (I'm a purple belt, so Is F, and M is a green belt), and a ninth dan blackbelt, Sensei Yaguchi, was here from Colorado to do the judging.
We did a workshop with him in the morning. He's 75, looks 60, and has very heavily accented English, so although he had many very useful things to say, I missed a lot of them. And looked even stupider than I actually am, because I couldn't quite get his instruction on some of the movements, and I would have to flail around in as anonymous a way as I could manage while trying to glean what I was supposed to be doing from other students.
After the class I was a teeny bit demoralized, and even more so when my toe started to throb, the one beside my pinkie on the left foot. I think I may have broken it, as it started to swell immediately and has since turned a ripe plummy black. I have no idea when or how I did it. It's ridiculous that something as small and insignificant as a toe can hurt so much. And these guys are not at all sympathetic about pain. They think it's good for you. So limping, wincing and squeaking "owie!" while performing, especially without any obvious bleeding wounds or compound fractures, are looked down upon.This was a couple of hours before graduation, where I would have to get up in front of a whole bunch of strangers, and try not to look stupid. I loaded up on ibuprofen at lunch and it worked surprisingly well. I did fine, and the boys were great. They learn everything faster than I do. And I think F has a real gift for karate.
You don't get really great, though, until up at the black belt level, where the katas (ritualized series of movements) stop looking goofy and start looking scary. J is not super helpful about the katas. He can't not laugh at them. He leaned over, giggling, and whispered to me in the middle of the graduation today when the brown belts were performing,"That's the silliest thing I've ever seen." Thanks for the support, hon!
We're back home now, where I've hung the first Christmas lights, blue ones, around the big doors in the front room. Tomorrow: the Christmas tree. It has begun.