Darkest Before Dawn

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel “I’m sorry! I’ve lost my mojo!” I wailed as I clumped and teetered through a series of spin kicks. We had set up what I will now refer to as The Gauntlet: five or six holders stood in a line holding focus pads as each student whirled past, hitting each pad with a spin kick. I thought I was going to get off easy since it was getting late, and we had a large class. I sighed as I was asked to switch pads with another student and was glumly thankful that at least I only had to do the kick on my right side.
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“Everything That Irritates Us About Others Can Lead Us to an Understanding of Ourselves”–Carl Jung

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The other day right as taekwondo class ended I let a seven-year-old get under my skin. We were collecting our shoes and water bottles after a hard cardio workout when she remarked with wonder, “Wow, we didn’t take a break at all.”
“I know,” I said, “But we can handle it. We’re tough. We’re bo dans after all.”
She paused for a moment and said, “Bo dahns” matter-of-factly and trotted off to meet her mother.
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So Just Chill Till the Next Episode

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“To surrender,” my yoga teacher said as he looked around the dark room at our upturned faces, “you sometimes first have to build heat.”

It was my first yoga class in about a month. When asked about my long absence I gave the ubiquitous answer of “I had things going on” with a Robert De Niro-esque shrug. I did have things going on (laundry doesn’t fold itself), but that wasn’t the entire answer.
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Well…Now What? And I Drop an F-Bomb.

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“Be true to yourself. You’ve come too far in 2 years,” my dad said. I experienced a really bad set back tonight and planned on my usual soothing ritual of lying motionless on the couch for eight hours watching Netflix, which will start tonight as soon as I post this. I told him I was going to skip going to a young professionals arts event tomorrow because I was too sad and didn’t want to put on a big fake smile. He reminded me that this situation and other parties involved don’t define who I am.
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Things Got Weird and Then Got Better

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Kitty was about to have a breakdown or a breakthrough…or both.

This morning during a meeting I revealed more of myself than I intended to, and I didn’t even say a word. We were meeting with a person in another department to discuss the sticky logistics of a shared project and were trying (without too much luck) to get some clarity on our roles and responsibilities. I won’t bore you with any more details.
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A Visit From an Old Frenemy

find-the-frenemy-devil-in-a-friends-disguise-1 The dojang is usually my happy place.

For a few minutes last night, though, it was the last place I wanted to be. As soon as the first round of sparring began my mood crashed and burned. Suddenly my instructor’s guidance sounded like taunts and my partner’s attacks felt like physical manifestations of all my shortcomings. This of course was all in my head. Neither one did anything wrong. They just happened to be in my line of sight when my old friend Low Self-Esteem decided to play. All my flaws were exposed, and there was nothing I could do about it. I was pissed.
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Home School

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Yes I practice taekwondo at home, and I wanted to share today’s home practice with you. It’s become more than a pastime; it’s become a practice and a purpose. I went to an invigorating vinyasa yoga class before lunch and then later in the evening I dedicated some time to my home tkd practice. Lately I’ve been trying to run through all the forms at home. I’ve decided to make forms my forte. I can’t be the best at everything and I’d say my skills range from lowest to highest from sparring to one-steps and hand-to-hand combat to kicks and then to forms, so I might as well pick one to excel in and be able to teach to others. Forms help me focus, forget, meditate, be present and be absent from this world all at the same time.
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Perfection is Perfected So I’mma Let ‘Em Understand…

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“Calm. Down,” whispered my instructor for the third time as we practiced the finer intricacies of hand-to-hand combat, i.e., twisting the crap out of each others’ wrists. Even though I was physically exhausted and wrung out like a dish rag from sparring class I was buzzing with manic energy during the red and black belt class. It came to a head when, jittery and frustrated, I flailed my hands and giggled apologies in a shrill self-deprecating tone after another failed attempt to reduce my “attacker” to a writhing heap on the floor.
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Breakdown or Breakthrough: Five Life-Changing Decisions I Made When I Was Feeling Like Crap

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I’m one of those people who not only needs a kick in the pants to make a drastic change, but I also need a swirly, a wedgie, and to be shoved in a locker and left over night until the janitor finds me the next day. I changed my major several times as an undergrad and each one was punctuated with hysterical sobbing phone calls to my dad during which I declared I wanted to give up on everything. I started my second master’s degree eight months after a devastating breakup. I started taekwondo two months after a string of dating humiliations and failures. Pursuing the MBA and returning to taekwondo were among my top 5 Best Decisions of My Life Thus Far and were decisions made with a mix of both impulsiveness and calculated determination. Decisions, choices, moves, whatever you want to call them, each event dramatically changed the trajectory of my life.

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