How an Introvert Ended Up Talking by Day and Yelling by Night

introvert
Oh if only I had this! Add a doormat that says “GO AWAY” and I’m all set.

Yesterday I conducted a workshop for a tough crowd of nurses despite having a voice weakened by allergies and an absent second speaker, and then I went to taekwondo class where I jumped around and yelled with my classmates and worked on my sad-looking flying side and turning back side kicks. I didn’t get nervous at all. If you had told me twenty or even ten years ago that that’s how I would be spending my Monday I would have run away screaming.
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Cabin Fever

out sick

Today my neighbor knocked on my door around noon to see if I was ok. He and his wife had noticed my car had stayed in the drive for a few days. I think his wife sent him around to make sure I wasn’t dead. I thanked him for his concern and explained that I had been home from work with a bad cold for a few days. I was really touched that he checked on me. It’s nice to know someone will find me before I’m completely devoured by maggots.
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Storyteller – The Poomsae Series Part 8

storybook

The Poomsae Series is intended to glean lessons from the meaning of each form (“poomsae” in Korean). My school studies the palgwe forms so that’s what I will use for each post. Descriptions are taken from the book “Complete Taekwondo Poomsae” by Dr. Kyu Hyung Lee and Dr. Sang H. Kim.

Everybody has a cross to bear, a story to tell, a lifetime of experience behind a single glance. Sometimes we need to hear the full story to appreciate someone or something. It offers perspective, clarity, and depth that is otherwise not visible.
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Is This the End or Just Beginning?

funny-new-years-resolutions-card

“Any New Year’s resolutions?” my instructor asked, raising his eyebrows expectantly at the end of class.
“To not write 2014 on my papers,” remarked one of the teenage black belts with a  smirk. Even though his smart-assotry gets old pretty quickly I giggled at that one. My instructor rolled his eyes and bounced his question back to the rest of the class.

“To get my black belt,” said a classmate proudly. Damnit, he took my idea! My mind had wandered off to my usual internal hippie daydreams like meditating more, being more mindful and present (ironically I wasn’t), start swimming in the early mornings again like I used to, juicing when I what I really want to do is get curly fries at Arby’s. I had forgotten what was so obvious and looming for a few of us:
Black belt. This is it. This is the year.
Holy crap.

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It’s Hard to Be Depressed When You’re Doing Duckwalks…

a-duck-walks-into-a-bar-plasterer1
This is what I want to do after duck walks.

…or fighting two 6’3″ guys at once…or coaching a tired, frustrated second grader…or cramming five forms into ten minutes.

Last week I didn’t go to taekwondo class at all. There was a major upheaval in my life that I saw coming, but the aftershocks are still rumbling through my quiet home and uneasy heart.  All the meditation and law-of-attraction reading and mental pep talks helped, but they didn’t stop me from sinking into a micro-depression and spening most of the weekend curled up on the couch watching Netflix. I know it’s leading to something good for everyone, but the cards haven’t been fully played yet. Who knew the best remedy would be a good healthy distraction?

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Quiet Storm – The Poomsae Series Part 7

peace-in-the-stormThe Poomsae Series is intended to glean lessons from the meaning of each form. My school studies the palgwe forms so that’s what I will use for each post. Descriptions are taken from the book “Complete Taekwondo Poomsae” by Dr. Kyu Hyung Lee and Dr. Sang H. Kim.

I am crushing on Palgwe Chil Jang. It’s as beautiful as it is forceful and brutal. The form begins with a defiant glare and a powerful double low block. We then weave through a series of meticulously placed blocks, kicks, strikes, and a crazy spinning low block until we gracefully slide back into the starting position with a vicious punch and the same steely glare.

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Tapping Into Your Inner Badass Bambi – The Poomsae Series Part 2

gentle strength

The Poomsae series is intended to glean lessons from the meaning of each form. My school studies the palgwe forms (as opposed to taeguk) so that’s what I will use for each post. Descriptions are taken from the book “Complete Taekwondo Poomsae” by Dr. Kyu Hyung Lee and Dr. Sang H. Kim.

Palgwe Yi jang, performed at the 7th gup (in our school it’s a yellow belt with green tip) takes its concept  from “tae,” or “river,” evoking a gentle and strong mind. The book emphasizes that the form should be done with “smooth yet dynamic” inner force. The strong yet soft concept is the leitmotif for many if not all the upper forms. It’s the proverbial iron fist in the velvet glove. Speak softly and carry a mean snap kick. A river can nourish life as well as destroy it.

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Everyday Struggle

slipped

“Don’t practice ‘struggle’…or that’s what you’ll get good at,” my yoga teacher quipped lightly during class on Sunday. She continued discussing the finer points of mastering balancing half-moon while I remained fixated on that statement. As a swimmer I’ve learned not to fight the water. As a commuter I’ve learned not to get angry and fight the traffic. As a student of my own mind I’ve learned not to drag myself further into the strangely addictive combative misery my brain likes to create. As a yoga and martial arts practitioner I’ve learned to be mindful of my movement and forgiving of my mistakes.

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