I came expecting I’d lost most of my flexibility and would have to work around my injury to heal it. Not so. My injury, it seems, is mostly self-healed. I was concerned that my speed had fallen, that my reflexes had dulled. In sparring, I found, nothing had changed, except perhaps I was a little too confident when testing my peers. Had I been partnered with higher belts I’m sure my arrogance would have resulted in pain. At any rate, the lesson Senpai (Sherms-daddy) imprinted upon me is not to over-train this time. I’ve been given, as far as I can tell for the moment, a clean slate. Although I’m not quite what I once was, I’m certainly not complaining, and in the weeks to come, I anticipate only improvement.
There are a few changes to the club. Unfamiliar faces- white belts and yellow belts I’ve never seen before. I felt a pang of regret I hadn’t been there to welcome them in to Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan, but as time continues, I’ll do my best as a black belt to make them feel welcome. Those I do know have changed the colours or stripes on their belts- it seems while I’ve been resting, they’ve been training to better themselves. It gladdens me to know they have not slacked off, though Osman is slacker than ever. The other major change is the new paddle they have. When it’s kicked in the right spot with enough force, it makes a boing nice, or yells out "Well done!" or some other encouragement. I thought it was hilarious, and perhaps I pushed myself a little harder than I should have to hear praise shouted at me.
Little rusty on my poomsae (patterns) but not too shabby. It’s only up from here. It really was remarkable to hear Carmella referring to the "black belts" and to consider myself included. To stand with them and be amongst them… It’s like getting a promotion with better pay and an ocean view. But of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and at present, my ego is holding me far back. Something I’ll have to work on as of now.
So that was my evening. After thinking about returning every single day since I’ve left, I finally got my wish granted. I bet I’ll be sore in the morning, but hot diggedy dog, it sure was worth it. Peace all!