Friday, November 04, 2005

a person's got to have a hobby

Here it is - a post that is not about children, dogs or housework. Yes, really! I kid you not.

The photo shows the gift I received for my most recent birthday. I helped choose it myself. And no, I don't use it when I'm mad at Fatty. It's for practising kicks and punches; I use it almost every day.
You may have heard of the Dancing Queen? Well I am the Karate Queen (in my own mind I am, anyway).

I started karate 8 years ago when I was a young whippersnapper. I had been talking about learning a martial art for several years. Fatty finally goaded me by saying, " You're never going to do it". Almost before he could finish his sentence, I had the phone book out and was dialling the Australian Karate Academy. I thought, " I'll show you! I will do this!". Now Fatty says it was all part of his plan to motivate me, and he knew I'd react to him throwing out that challenge. Damn I hate being so predictable! I'm glad, though, that Fatty spurred me into action, because I love my karate.

Although I started 8 years ago, there have been 2 years there where I haven't gone at all - during each of my pregnancies, then 3 months recovery time afterwards. And with small children, and various other commitments, I can now only make it to lessons once a week, so progress has been very s-l-o-w. But like the turtle I have outlasted many 'hares' who have taken up karate then drifted away again. And now my instructor has asked me to try for my black belt at the next grading in March 2006.
I'm excited, I'm nervous, and I have to admit I'm also proud of myself for getting to this level. Sometimes I have had to drag myself along half asleep (and say hi to perky little 20-year-olds who remark, " You look tired!" ). Often I have embarrassed myself with mistakes considered ridiculous by the perky young ones (most of whom train 3-4 times per week). I have even risked public humiliation by attending a number of karate tournaments, doing my 'kata' (demonstration karate) with shaking hands and wobbly legs. (Can I just mention here, I am now, for the purposes of karate competitions, classed as a veteran. A VETERAN! You'd think to qualify for this category I should be at least 50, maybe with a grizzled beard and tales of war. Outrageous!)

Somehow I have bumbled my way along, and now I find I am actually reasonably good at karate. I like the fact that I'm a mother, a wife, a GP... but I also put on an odd-looking white get-up and yell loudly whilst punching and kicking. I like the unexpectedness of it.

I'm hoping desperately that I'll get my black belt in March. I've been waiting for 8 years now to be able to say things like, "I'd like half a dozen pieces of bacon, please, and by the way I have a black belt in karate". I suspect I may be compelled to tell my hairdresser, the mailman, our neighbours, assorted passersby... so don't think any of you bloggers will be likely to escape hearing about it! ...I'll let you know how it goes.


susan said...

WOW, great perseverance! Congratulations on making it this far, and good luck on your black belt!

Motherkitty said...

Ugh. I can barely move these days with my bad knees and you are out there kicking and yelling. Good for you! All of us will be cheering you on as you pursue your black belt and hope you don't come home with black and blue spots instead. Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee, eat your hearts out -- here comes your nemesis.

Athenian Monk said...
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donna y said...

That must be a really great way to release agression. Good luck on working toward your black belt!!