Thursday, November 21, 2013


Team sports have taken over our family's calendar, and it's time to face the hard truth:  my life as a karate mom is done.  I've said it for years--when the boys finish, I'll be done, too. 

It's tough coming to grips with this realization.  I've been kicking it in the dojo for half a decade.  I'm halfway to a third degree black belt, but my motivation to finish just isn't there.  It's a time thing, our evenings and weekends are booked with games and practices.  It was easy to make it to karate when I had to bring kids.  Now I have to bring the kids to the gym, so there's no built-in reason for me to go to karate.

I hate going to black belt class because most of the other adults have dropped out, leaving me a giant among rugrats.  It's one thing to be a giant among rugrats when some of them are one's own offspring, but I'm going to be honest with you:  I'm not that much into other people's kids.  Not to the point where I'd hang out with them instead of hanging out with my own, anyway.  And don't even get me started on how awful it is to spar little people.  That's a separate post.  Seriously.

I could go to adult class, but that would mean a whole shift of schedule.  Adult class meets later at night, and I'm not sure I'd make it consistently anyway as kids' games and other stuff provide constant interference.  I've seen that adult class--it looks like a really fun group of people. Would I fit in?  Would they accept me?  If I switched, I'd have to do any third degree curriculum on my own because most of the adults are under belts.  Am I that committed?

My last module test felt embarrassing.  A person does have to practice karate in order to be any good at it.  That means showing up for class and putting in the time at home.  I didn't do that.  I didn't look awful, but I sure didn't look my best either.  I knew what to do, but my kicks weren't as sharp, my moves weren't as crisp as they would have been if I'd worked harder ahead of the test.  The competitive part of me hates not being the best in class. 

I made this rule years ago that the minute I look like an old lady trying to do karate, I'm outta there. 

The trouble is, I miss it.  I miss kicking and punching and striking.  I miss the good work out.  How else will I stay in shape if I'm not at karate?  I just cannot picture myself at zumba class or lifting weights or working out to DVDs in my living room. 

This much is true:  the Momvan rarely brings Team Testosterone to the dojo anymore.  We're done investing in weapons and learning new forms together.  That chapter is finished, but I have to do something besides sit on my butt in bleachers.


  1. I vote for taking up running ;-) I'm sure you'll find something great to fill the time.

  2. It's interesting that you took a class with your kids. I don't think I ever did that except for the mom and me gymnastics. And that was more of a safety purpose than mom getting any exercise.

    I tried all sorts of exercise classes and just never enjoyed them. I stick with walking and hiking with friends and I work out with hubby in our basement gym, which isnt too glamorous, but works.

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  4. "I'm not that much into other people's kids. Not to the point where I'd hang out with them instead of hanging out with my own, anyway. "

    Hahahahahaha! I so get that. Best of luck finding your new passion. I think I tried tap dancing at about this point in time raising my kids. If you don't mind a suggestion - don't let yourself get completely lost. Too hard to find it when those driving days are done.

    Meantime - black belt. So impressed.

  5. After watching my daughter's Kempo class, I thought that would be such a great way to get exercise. Perhaps now is not the time, but the boys will get older --soon one of them can drive the other two :-) Then you can join an adult class.

  6. I am in no position to offer anyone advice on exercise programs. But how about Shed Yoga? Not quite the same as karate, I guess. Whenever I see the word "shed" next to "yoga" it makes me think it is a program to shed pounds through yoga.

  7. Kids' sports schedules certainly dictate where we parents get to go. Once all my kids are in school, then, THEN I will get the exercising in. I'm looking forward to jumping in a pool and doing some laps. I hope you find something you enjoy to replace karate.

  8. My kids don't do any team sports. It just never took. I feel like we are crazy busy, I can't imagine adding all of that to my schedule.

    I'm sorry you are not having the time you need for karate and hope you find something to fill that spot.

  9. I think as moms one of the harder things to do is to adjust to the constant change. I know I get caught up in what "we" do. For a while "we" went to Tae Kwon Do; then it was done. Now, the boys go to baseball and the girls to the barn. It is exhausting when running (my one "me" thing) is relegate to the edges of the schedule (5:30 am runs).

  10. I can understand missing the hitting and kicking. I often want to hit and kick things. But, you have that WONDERFUL barn/garage/basketball court now. I'm sure there is room to add in one of those big punching/kicking bags somewhere. :)

  11. Back in the dark ages, when I was the mom of 4 boys between the ages of one and nine, I set up a buddy-system with a friend and we went to fitness kickboxing. Those big red bags took a lot of punches and kicks as I let the built-up frustration out in aggression and sweat. I loved it. (Then I had major surgery, the friend moved, and time disappeared -- but it was fun while it lasted!)


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