Monday, December 10, 2012

Use It or Lose It

He-who-trains is very clever.  I must've made a big enough stink about not being allowed to run that he knew he would have a battle on his hands if he didn't get me something else that I loved almost as much.  So he brings martial arts back into my life, and makes me wonder why I ever quit.  (No seriously.  Why didn't I keep on going and keep on training?  I could've done that through college and seminary instead of hustling pool. What? Every girl needs a vice or two.)  He-who-trains has done martial arts forever and ever, amen-- and he's crazy fast.  Occasionally, he will demonstrate things for me--kicks and punches so near to my head that it takes an act of God for me to stand still.  Oh, he's tremendously accurate and I have no worry at all that he'd ever miss, but I'm pretty sure he's gonna make me wet my britches one day.

I miss doing Tae Kwon Do.  I wasn't ever very good at it, but I really enjoyed it. That was what I always wanted to do as a kid, but never did.  When I finally did it as an adult, it was every bit as fabulous as I thought it would be.  I would spar with my judo-loving friend who made me work really hard not to let the fight go to the ground, because I was toast. I sparred-- somewhat disastrously (though neither one of us will admit it to the other) with my 6'8" lawyer friend.  I would've sworn that I never got a shot in on him because of those long arms and legs, but he later told me I left him with some good bruises.

But all that was a lifetime ago.  My whole world (and body...blrrrgh) has changed since then.  And I've forgotten so much that I'm beginning to wonder if I made up taking TKD for as long as I did.  I've forgotten even the basics.  He-who-trains is having to take me through everything so slowly that it's like the first time I've seen it done. It's taking a phenomenal amount of mental energy to follow what he's doing and make my body even begin to think about replicating his movements.  I wasn't ever stellar at TKD, but I don't remember it being that hard for me to follow the instructors. I wasn't usually the first person to get something, but I caught on a lot faster than a good bit of the class.  Is this what it's like to get old? Or is my brain just a lot more full than it used to be?

After he left, I led myself through the movements again and again, slowly, until it made some sense.  Things started coming back to me--memories of doing touch and go crescents to warm up my hips. How to rotate my feet and body to get them in position for kicks. They're vague, useless memories right now, but at least they're in there.  Maybe muscle memory will eventually take over, until my old, cluttered, distracted brain can pick up the slack.

He-who-trains is stirring up something.  Because of my knees, I may never be able to be the runner I want to be.  But maybe the running, at least for me, is partly about conquering the seemingly unconquerable. I sure haven't conquered martial arts.  Maybe that's something I could pour my energy into again.  I think getting at least a black belt is back on my bucket list.  Only when I go back, I'm not gonna let it fall from my memory.  Maybe one day when I'm the age  He-who-trains is now,  I'll want to show off for some young person and make them hypervenilate from my sheer speed and martial arts prowress.  I can only do that if I make it a point to use it.

On a side note, it was indeed the good workout I'd hoped for and needed. My heartrate was comfortably high.  My muscles were getting fatigued to the point where I was getting sloppy--er, sloppier--in my kicks. But I felt like I could've kept going for a while.  I felt like I had more to offer than was being asked. My body is getting stronger.  I don't feel like I owned the workout, but for once, I don't feel like the workout owned me.  I'll take it.