Monday, October 12, 2009

extreme day

I survived. Without injury. My calves feel like giant bruises and I feel an all-over aching and sluggishness, but Extreme Day is done. Starting with a 3-mile run at 1:30 Saturday, I ran a minute slower than last week--it was wicked cold with a biting wind that hammered at us along one long stretch both laps. Running into that wind took SO much energy and effort--my run felt like a walk while pushing my body into the gusts.

We weren't released until 6:00. I haven't pushed through that many hours in a row since I gave birth to Mr. B almost 7 years ago. We ran, did push-ups, pounded mitts, kicked pads. We had self defense rounds and were tested on combinations and forms. My stomach roiled and churned with dread as the hour of Combat Sparring approached. Finally we put on our gear and sat along the back wall while the black belts selected 6 candidates at a time for sparring rounds.

I watched as people got punched, shoved and kicked to the floor. I observed how certain candidates were handled more roughly than others--with some kids it was a sheer effort to get them to fight back--punch their opponent and not cringe in a corner. In those cases, their black belt only batted at them with light punches, yelling at them to fight back. With others it was a full-out vicious brawl. I waited through 3 rounds until finally Mr. V asked "Is there anyone who hasn't gone yet?" I looked around and tentatively raised my hand. My luck had run out.

But Mr. V was kind--or I capably fended him off. I did NOT end up on the ground in a grappling position. Feeling like jell-o, I forced my punches at him, heaved up a few kicks to get him away. I stayed close to him the entire round, reasoning that if he got a bit of distance on me, he'd have more power in his punches and kicks. After our round was done, he hugged me, breathed "Good round, ma'am" in my ear.

Then I sat through more rounds where nobody called on me to spar. Many black belts made eye contact with me as I sat against the wall, but none of them called my name to invite me out to the floor. (I had flashbacks of square dancing in gym class in 5th grade--remember waiting to be asked by a boy to partner off?) Maybe they were scared off by rumors of Wednesday night's "incident" with Mr. K? (He was a little embarrassed, but pleased by my gift of cookies, by the way.) Finally Mr. V came around again and called me out for a second round. Another grueling but injury-free 3 minutes that kept me on both feet the entire time. I took some hard punches to both head and chest, but it wasn't the worst I've experienced (things can get pretty ugly in the adult class when we spar).

Then we were told to take off helmets, gloves and foot protectors. Time to run sprints. Was this a break in the combat sparring? I ran my sprints and after I finally got called off the floor, Mr. O asked me if I sparred. "Yes--Mr. V, twice." "Oh darn, I was looking forward to sparring you today!" Panting, I replied, "I still have my gear, sir, if you want to go." He laughed and I realized that that was it. The Combat Sparring that I've been dreading for weeks was over and I made it through only having to go TWO rounds with Mr. V. Mr. V with whom I have trust and confidence sparring, and who treated me rather kindly I thought.

And then? After a little more work? We were told to go home. We'd passed the hardest part of Black Belt qualification--Extreme Day was done. Next up: Qualification Test this Saturday. Until then, I'm soaking in another hot tub and swallowing more ibuprofen.

23 comments:

  1. I have NO DOUBT that you worthy of a black belt, but I worry about the kids that are still cringing on Extreme Day. Are they really ready?

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  2. You are crazy to put your body through all of that! That said, you are to be congradulated for going through all the training and not giving up, like most of us would have.

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  3. Wow! How exciting! So impressed with your physical prowess--I can only claim running into terrible cold headwinds in common with you but can't imagine doing that and then sparring and sprinting and all! Hats off to you!

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  4. Yay for you!! If you're like me, every step, every wince because of the sore muscles also comes with a little blip of glee and satsifaction - YOU DID IT!! And did well...we knew you would. :)

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  5. You rock. Seriously.

    I was thinking what Little Miss Sunshine State said.

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  6. Wow - my body hurts just reading all of that. You go girl!!

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  7. It's getting close! You're nearly there and we're ALL proud of you.

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  8. CONGRATULATIONS! You are a warrior!
    Keep up the great job!
    xo

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  9. i'm panting.........just reading your account of events! holy crumb! that sounds exilerating/worhwhile/hard/exciting!

    awesome........

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  10. WELL DONE! Wow, you did it! I'm so proud of you!

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  11. You're amazing. Really! My puny muscles twitch with fear at the mere idea of doing that. Wow!

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  12. Congrats and best wishes for the last round!

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  13. See ... I told you he would Man Up! Now you just need to weight train so next time he gets a kick from you he'll think a second time about putting you through 'extreme day.' *snort*
    I am thinking about running ... thinking mind you ... but I have bad knees (doctor confirmed). What do you think the right training approach would be for me? Walk & short runs to walk again or just stick with walking. Of course this would mean we'd have a warm winter which we all know is not going to happen after this past week.

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  14. "...with some kids it was a sheer effort to get them to fight back--punch their opponent and not cringe in a corner...." *hahahaha!* omg Greens you make me laugh so harrd. Yes. Kids that are not battle-ready should be at home doing cross-stitch or making doilies or some shizz so the rest of you can properly whup the tar out of one-another! *haha!*
    CONGRATULATIONS for surviving "extreme day"!! !! You're the bomb!! !!

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  15. Black Belt, Cup...black belt, cup...
    sounds like an ensemble to me.

    All you need is a cape and you're my hero or heroine, (whichever is politically correct).

    Sweet wishes,
    Sara

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  16. Woah. Now I REALLY want my son to go onto get his black belt one day. and I've decided that I REALLY don't ever want to!

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  17. I can't even tell you how impressed I am. Just watching my son test--and seeing kids of all levels working their way up...and then my son's teacher had to do a demonstration as the last part of earning her 2nd degree black belt...well, it's all so amazing. You. da. woman.

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  18. Way to more then hold your own. Good luck on the rest of your qualification.

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  19. Did u do ur stuff outside?! Very interesting!! I've never seen that! ...must be like the Army/Airborne Rangers- where-as my Dad(who went thru it) so eloquently said, "They torture you for 12 hours, and then ur lying on the ground in the dying cockroach position-and think...I've made it this far, I'll either finish or die...wither is okay."
    :) LOL!
    Good luck tomorrow!!! YOU can DO IT!!!

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Spill it, reader.