The Countdown Begins

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August sucks. There aren’t any holidays, the comforting summer buzz of the cicadas has died down, the grocery stores are down to the last mealy dregs of my favorite fruits (nectarines and cherries), and for the much of the month the temperature is around 100 degrees. While summer is my favorite time of year, I’m usually not sad to see this particular month come to a close.

The end of August marks the beginning of scarves and knee-high boots, pumpkin-flavored everything, and apple scented candles. The end of August also means I have less than two months left to train for my black belt test.
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Body Image

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For the last few days I have done absolutely nothing. The pain that I’ve been experiencing during and after taekwondo classes will not let up and even flares up with gentler physical activities such as swimming and yoga. In fact, in last Sunday’s yoga class I ended up going to my knee for every Warrior I, crescent lunge, and even Warrior II. Somewhere between Sun Salutation B and savasana I decided that I needed to rest.
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The Distraction That Won’t Die

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“What distracts us?” my yoga teacher asked last week as we sat on our mats waiting for class to begin.
“People’s cell phones going off in class,” I thought darkly, wishing I could throw a few punches at the perpetrators as if I were in sparring class. What’s really been distracting me lately is physical pain. Usually when I’m distracted it’s more of the emotional or mental type—anxiety, anger, sadness, or simply my brain wheels clicking as I solve problems. But right now it’s good old-fashioned pain, that pain in my right hamstring that’s been bothering me for a few weeks now. I don’t know if it’s a tear, a pull, or just irritation from over-use but it’s starting to be a real pain in the…well, you know. Literally and figuratively.
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Crowdsourcing

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Yesterday I didn’t feel too jazzed about “cardio night.” My allergies have been acting up since Friday, so I was headachy, grumpy, and phlegmy, plus my right…um…“high hamstring” still had shooting pain whenever I did a front or roundhouse kick on that leg. However I knew I needed to get out of the house and get some exercise, and I know I always feel better once I get some sweat and endorphins flowing. When I arrived a white belt class was still going on, and a few advanced students had trickled in to quietly warm up. As I squinted and creaked and stretched by the barre I was approached by a little blonde red belt who sells Girl Scout cookies and has developed quite the hook kick. She began peppering me with questions about red-to-black belt training.
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