First of all…hi. It’s been a month since I published anything here so welcome back and thank you for reading. For the past two months I’ve mostly been focused on getting through each day, just like everyone else has in the COVID-19 crisis. I’ve had ups, downs, and am finally starting to feel more leveled out and balanced.
At first I was buzzing around with manic energy because I was so excited to be working from home full-time, which has been my dream for years. Then I hit a wall because I was trying to do so much with my “free” time that I now had in the morning, evening, and throughout the day. Meanwhile my regular 40-hour-a-week job intensified because I work for a healthcare system that suddenly had to put all its learning services online. I also started panicking about the thought of having to go back to an office setting, so I couldn’t even enjoy the time I was (and still will for quite a while) having at home. In March and April I also had some challenging projects from my publisher to keep the memoir process going, so I was quite busy…and utterly exhausted.
I needed to give myself permission to scale everything back.
So I varied what I did on certain days rather than trying to do everything: some mornings I got up early and did Pilates or yoga before work. Other times I slept in and watched TV until 8 am (my indulgence of the moment is Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares”). Some days a walk around the neighborhood was enough or just enjoying a book. I still meditate every day using the Headspace app. I completely stopped writing books for a while (but kept up my personal journal) and practice guitar more sporadically. It’s given me some space to breathe, get my real work done, and actually enjoy my quiet time at home. I did very recently come up with a housecleaning schedule for the rest of the year, so the manic energy isn’t totally gone, ha ha.
In the middle of all that, my dojang went online, and it’s been great. Like many other martial arts schools, my dojang quickly converted classes to online Zoom meetings, and I’ve been so impressed and inspired with how my instructors have been able to continue motivating and training us. I had no idea something as old school and high-contact as taekwondo could be successfully taught online.
As a black belt, I’m pretty self-motivated about keeping up my skills, and have been able to get good feedback during my classes. I feel bad for people across the state and country who are primarily focused on tournament fighting–that’s their whole world, and that’s not coming back any time soon. In that light there’s something to be said for keeping up traditional training that doesn’t require a $100 entrance fee and an electronic chest protector. (Although I miss sparring too.)
I’ve gotten used to thirty minute classes rather than an hour, so I’m a tad out of shape compared to where I was at the beginning of the year. Next week we’re starting in-person classes in a limited capacity, so I’ll just have to take that slowly and not jump in with all eight cylinders screaming like I often do (and I’ll get to try out my Adidas taekwondo shoes on the mat so I don’t have to be barefoot). I’m happy for my master and instructors that the business will pick up again. We’ve already missed one scheduled black belt test, so I hope we can quickly get back on track for those students. I was set to test for third dan at the end of this year, but I think like with everything else, we’ll just have to be flexible and adapt to this ever-changing world situation.
I have a busy day at work today, but thanks to working remotely, I’m going into it feeling relaxed, energized, and ready. Helps that I’m doing a quick wine run to Target beforehand.
Stay tuned for my upcoming book – “Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts” published by She Writes Press. Coming to a bookseller near you April 20, 2021!
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