I remember rounding a corner and hitting a patch of sand on the road. This caused my front wheel to hit a curb and abruptly turn sideways. I flew over the handlebars of my 10-speed bike, Superman style. Instinctively I tucked and rolled and landed rather impressed with myself.
I got up, walked over to my bike, twisted the handlebars back into place and rode home.
The next day I didn’t even feel the bruises I had earned from my crash. My attitude was more like, “oh, yeah, I must have gotten that last night.”
Oh to be young again.
|Deputy Black Belt, 2 out of 5 black tips.|
Injuries that I bounced back easily from in my forties simply linger in my fifties. Especially, I have learned, knee injuries.
That’s the way it’s been for me lately. My road to recovery with my knee and my hips has been a long one. It seems that stretching has almost become a necessity for moving well. I start each day on the stationary bike followed by stretching. Although I’ve graduated from barely making it around my building at work to walking during my lunch again, I never feel normal. Something always tightens or hurts.
When I started this black belt journey a little over two and a half years ago, the thought never occurred to me that I would not be able to do everything. Oh sure, I figured I may not be able to kick as high, or as fast, but I never saw myself as having any physical limitations. I never knew I could get injured so easily or take so long to recover.
Now I’m realizing some of the jumping and spinning kicks may be a part of my past. I have to be very careful and it’s not easy. I’m still in a class full of teenagers. It’s hard to back off when I need to.
It’s not easy getting older. This part of my journey is not easy. Not by a long shot.
But I keep thinking of this one phrase, “Strengthen what remains.” I have always held a life philosophy of not focusing on what I cannot do, but focusing on what I can. I’m not saying this is easy, but it is what I have to work with.
2018 is the year I turn fifty-three, and also the year I will earn my black belt. Currently I have two black tips on my deputy black belt. I need a total of five before I can test. It is possible I may test as soon as June, however I’d rather have the extra time and test in October.
I will strengthen what remains. I will focus on what I can do.
I am working on the basics. I want a sharp-looking sidekick and round kick. These are kicks that show up in my poomsae. I’ve let them slack, as the twisting required has been almost impossible. But I’m ready to start working on them again. Slow tension kicks at first and then move into more power.
I also want the details of my technique to look sharper. I have noticed in class that when I come prepared already knowing the moves, the teachers give more attention to the details of techniques.
And most of all, when I finally get a chance to wrap that black belt around my waist, I want to feel like I have done my absolute best to earn it.