One down, one to go

Ooooooh we’re halfway there, WOOOAHHH LIVIN ON A PRAAAAYER!

That’s right. We are halfway through the intensive and looking at the weather forecast next week, it’s not getting any cooler. It’s supposed to be even hotter. This means bringing three water bottles instead of two, and a towel to wipe the sweat off my face.

This past week has been one of the most challenging of my time at karate. Throughout the nearly eight years I’ve been at the dojo I have never done an intensive or pushed myself this much. I calculated the hours I was at the dojo this week at 20 hours. That’s almost one entire day at the dojo.

For the first three days my body was so sore I had to roll out of bed because my arms were too sore to lift my body. The soreness lessened on Thursday and was nearly entirely gone by Friday, except for my legs from doing these splits.

Now, on Saturday, it’s completely gone.

I thought getting up at 5 every morning would be the biggest challenge. It wasn’t. The biggest challenge was peeling my sweat-soaked gi off after every session. It got incredibly sticky. Getting up was the easy part. The morning classes were quite enjoyable and prepared me for the day ahead. Doing exercise in the morning really makes you feel like you’ve done something productive and the endorphins makes it easier to look forward to the day, no matter if you have a full day of work ahead.

During the holidays I felt so fat and unhealthy because of the lack of exercise. Now I feel fitter and stronger and not fat at all. And that feeling is so great for my self-confidence.

I’m proud of everything I put forward during class, even the absolutely terrible techniques I put forth during speed training. Each class I pushed myself to do better and try even harder. And I benefited from it.

Did I hyperventilate? No.

Did I get a stitch? No.

Did I ever feel like fainting? No.

Did I give up? No.

It might not seem like a big deal, but given my recent track record when rocking up to karate, it’s a big difference. You need a balance between mind and body to be able to perform well and recently I’ve been unbalanced. With both my mind and body working strong and working together.

Not only has my mind and body been balanced, but my life outside the dojo as well. Usually I work without a chance for relaxation, but this week I took some time off of doing things to just sit and let everything relax. Even taking an hour out of each day to go fishing, play a game or read a book was enough to prepare me for work and another karate session. The balance between working hard and resting is what allowed me to fully energise between each session. And having a balanced diet helped too I guess.

At least one of the two weeks is over and the finish line is in sight. We’ll just have to take it day by day and see what comes out of it.