Hello Dear Readers,
Those who are on my Facebook Fan Page (thank you, btw–it was a writing class assignment, but I’ve met a lot of nice people there) already know that yesterday was a tough day for me.
KWest instructor Grant Rutherford wrote me a letter in response to my “Use the Force” blog post. It was super nice of him, especially since he’s a new dad and works full-time in addition to all his KWest responsibilities. Along with the support and encouragement was a lot of great advice.
This was how he suggested I approach every class. He said I could share with all of you, and I’m doing so because I think it’s a great way to approach any tough challenge.
After every drill ask yourself honestly, was that it, was that all I could have given, or was I saving more to finish harder at the end of class to make sure I can get through it? If you are (and most do) then you are just kidding yourself about improving, and being able to pass the green prajioud test. Challenge yourself every round. Yeah, your fifth round today may look like crap because you left it all out there in the first three rounds. But two months from now your fifth round will look just like your second. And people will notice; trust me! And they will start using you as their inspiration to get to the next level. Work for this. Be someone else’s inspiration!
I knew yesterday’s Level 2 class would be tough, because Joscelyn was teaching. Joscelyn favors a drill sergeant-type of instruction. He really tries to break you down so you can be built up again. However, this week my kru Kelly Westerlund has invited the Level 1s to try out the Level 2 class, so I comforted myself with the thought that Joscelyn would probably take it easier on us. And the first class was just a Level 1, so how hard could it be?
Brutal is not the word. Can you say 100 knees to the stomach, people? But that isn’t when I started to feel sick. The nausea really hit me during Joscelyn’s running drills, which went on forever. Apparently, “taking it easy” is not in his vocabulary, and since I followed Grant’s advice and went for broke in Level 1, I really started to feel sick after about fifteen minutes of lunges, jumping knees, sprints, jogging, jump squats, burpees, push-ups, and so on. It just went on and on and on, with no end in sight. One of the things that kept me going (besides reminding myself that I was channeling Grant, and Grant would never quit or throw up) was that my kru was doing all the exercises right beside me. He’s just gotten over a string of pretty serious illnesses, including pneumonia and food poisoning, and it sounded like he was having a really hard time. But he never quit. So I didn’t, either.
When the cardio drills were finally over, we paired with a partner to practice our front kicks–two “range-finding” ones with our left leg, and then–BANG–a powerful one with our right. So, basically I went from extreme nausea to getting kicked in the stomach repeatedly. Fun times! As grueling as it was, the front kick is one thing that’s vastly improved for me since I started training at KWest. Even at Sik Tai, my front kick was weak. I don’t think anyone would say that anymore.
Once the front kick drills were finished, we did some sit-up drills with our partner. Those weren’t so bad, although my partner and I were both cooked by the last exercise. I can honestly say that I didn’t hold anything back. There were times I felt sorry that I didn’t have more energy for Vanessa, my Level 2 partner, but I have faith in Grant’s advice. I can only get better.
I apologize for the lack of writing-related posts lately. This is my first week of hardcore training, and I am struggling to find balance. But I really hope (and plan) to get back to the book next week.