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.
“Do you want to be a black belt?” I asked, raising my eyebrow. She nodded emphatically.
“Then you’ll have to work hard. Do remember your form?” I asked, leaning down to look her in the eye.
“Yes, but it’s confusing,” she said, miming some of the motions of Palgwe Chil Jang.
“Okay, we’ll work on that after this class is finished. We have to be quiet until then.”
She gazed at the white belts and mused, “I like watching them sometimes.”
“You can learn how to teach by watching a white belt class,” I said. “You have to know how to do that to be a black belt.” She nodded again and started mumbling all the things white belts have to learn under her breath: stretch kicks, front snap kick, low block…
Once the white belts had scattered I rushed her out onto the mat and soon convinced a fellow bo dan and a red belt who is testing for black tip on Friday into joining us. Even though I sounded like I was smoking a pack a day I quickly started to feel better as I walked the kids through the form. I smirked with pride when my fellow little bo dan took it upon herself to explain to the blonde red belt a particularly difficult part of the form.
It was a great class with lots of variety to keep us on our toes and infectious enthusiasm from other students. We giggled when a black belt (and incidentally the only one who speaks Korean fluently) did the wrong kick when we were told to do “hyeo chun cha-kee”–I’ll give you a hint; it’s NOT jump snap kick. We muttered compliments and words of encouragement to each other during fast paced rounds of flying kicks.
By the end of class I still had a dry throat and the sniffles and couldn’t tell if I had a mild fever or I was just my usual roasting man-sweaty self, but I felt much better. I enjoyed the thrill of a good workout and had the feel-good fuzzies when I coached some of the younger kids. Being around like-minded people I care about definitely helped lift my spirits.
Meanwhile tonight I am sitting at home pouting because I am coughing way too much to make it through a vinyasa yoga class…I even start hacking in savasana. Meh. You win some, you lose some.