Saturday, October 4, 2014

something i always wanted to do: karate

I've always wanted to try Karate.  For years I said, "Once I lose the weight, I'll try it out."  That was a LONG time ago.  But when I had my weight loss surgery last year, I said it again.  And actually meant it this time. (I'm not always good at following through on things.)  So, when a Groupon came up while browsing for something else, I decided to buy it.  It was $85.00 for two months of unlimited classes at New England Rendokan in Rocky Hill (here's the Groupon if you're interested:  New England Rendokan).  At this particular place, that meant I could take three classes a week if I wanted to.  And it was good up to four months from the time of purchase so I had plenty of time to take care of the move, get my mind into the idea of doing something physical, and to lose a few more pounds.

I took my first class the other night, and boy, was I sore afterwards!  Surprisingly it wasn't my legs or back that hurt, although that would come the next day.  It was my ankles and wrists.  My ankles because of the stance while doing certain moves.  And my wrists because of the punches.

It started about with about 15-20 minutes of warm-ups:  stretches, kicks, sit-ups, and (UGH!!) push-ups!  And not just a set of 10 push-ups.  It was one push-up, stand up, two push-ups, stand up, and on, until we got to ten push-ups.  Then it counted down.  So that was a total of 100 push-ups!  Holy crap!!  Needless to say, I did like one and that was it.  That sounds like I chickened out, or am so out of shape I could only do one.  But I did one.  A whole one.  The RIGHT WAY.  I've never before in my life done a push-up.  I wasn't able to.  I've always been too heavy.  343 pounds is a lot of weight on the wrists.  But now I'm 125 pounds lighter and that enabled me to do one.

After the warm-ups were done it was on to some simple repetitions.  Well, simple for the other students who had been there for a couple years.  I was able to do them, but I felt very uncoordinated and off balance, which is very unlike me.  I took dance for seven years as a child and I typically catch on very fast whenever I'm learning something new, so I figured this would be like anything I had tried and mastered.  Nope.  I felt like a fish out of water.  Some things were easier than others, but I found my balance wasn't the best and my retention of what I had learned was awful.  I kept getting stuck at certain points during a sequence, like I had a brain block or something.  I'm sure it's just because it's new and there was a lot of different moves to learn.

Overall, I enjoyed it.  It's quite a workout and that's what I'm looking for.  I was sore the next day, but that's to be expected.  I haven't exercised my whole body like that in a long time.

I learned something, too.  Like how to kick someone in the groin if they attack, how to dodge a knife, and how to kick someone in the side of the knee to take them down.  This is over simplified, of course.  There's a lot more to Karate than kicking someone in the balls.  It's about confidence, respect, and discipline.

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