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WHO’S your daddy?

Note to self: All right. I guess you should never doubt yourself again.

So I’m a 2nd degree black belt now. (No attacks, please.)

It turned out to be not as hard as I thought (by which I mean my martial arts master only made us run 1.7 miles instead of 2, and 4 boards is only three inches of wood, not four).

On the other hand…

It was a beautiful day to run, sunny and not windy at all. The seven of us (plus Morgan, who is working on her cardio for the upcoming Korea trip) met to run the lower loop in Central Park at around 11am. Man, do those horses smell. Anyway, all was going well until we reached the home stretch, when suddenly we hit…ominous music, please…the EGG-STRAVAGANZA.

The Egg-stravaganza, for those of you who can’t guess, is an Easter egg hunt of enormous proportions. For a group of DESPERATELY JOGGING MARTIAL ARTISTS (no, really, we weren’t going all that fast) trying to make an 18 minute time limit (I mean, how much slower can we get?), it is experienced as a WALL, nay, AN OCEAN, no, A VERTICALLY CHALLENGED BUT NIGH IRRESISTIBLE WAVE of children, tiny tots, glowering parents with Easter baskets, and (oddly enough) an armored truck (presumably for the safe-keeping of eggs, or, perhaps, the mayor).

Whew! Well, a little off-trail cross-country for everyone. We all made it in time, and I swear I saw Paul do a ninja flip over a stroller-load of 2-month-olds. Well, that’s training for you.

After all that, the 1st degrees-to-be settled down to take their written test (the rest of us had already handed in our essays, or “love letters,” as my martial arts master would say), and then we all had lunch at the vegan place down the street. (Well, except for Marianne, who abhors all vegetables, tofu, and, as far as I can tell, food. :P)

After all THAT, we finally took the physical TaeKwon-do test. The school was packed, the 4-year-olds did an excellent job (and were so cute!), the adult color belts were solid, and then…

I think it was a really good black belt test. No one freaked out, everyone broke their boards, and no one got too hurt. So congrats to Shelley, Sterling, Jason, and John.

As for me, well, at this advanced age, I no longer freak myself out to the point where I can hear my heart beat through my ribs, but my mouth dried up like a salt lick.

I haven’t seen the video yet, but I think Marianne and I performed decently enough, especially when you take into account both her bad knees and all my sore limbs and hypochondria (heh). I wish I could have fought better, but tomorrow’s another day.

I’m not generally known for my breaks (or much of anything, really), but on Saturday, my breaking went better than it ever has in my life. On Saturday, I was the breaking QUEEN. I only had two breaks, but both the 4-board back kick and the 2-board elbow strike went on the first try. This has never happened to me before and maybe never will again, but at least now I will always know that it’s possible.

So for all of you, like me, who never believed that a 4’10″, 117 lb. woman could drive her right foot through 4 wooden boards on her first attempt, I guess we should all rethink our limitations.

The only test that I really got to see from the floor was Paul’s 3rd degree test, and it goes without saying that it was AWESOME. Not only were his patterns really powerful, but he fought two-on-one against Adam and Chris (yikes!) and then did an amazing 5-board sidekick break and a 3-board reverse turning kick. WEE-HAAA!!! I will never doubt him again.*

*even if he is a vegan.

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

P.S. Weirdly enough, there was a largish Vassar contingent in the audience, there to see Shelley and Paul. So, er. Hi John. Hi Dave. Hi Michelle. Long time no see.
P.P.S. Thanks to everyone for your support, instruction, and friendship!
P.P.P.S. I shall go back to being ill-tempered and snarky now.

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