ADHD · martial arts

Christine’s Plan for her Belt Test: Being Bold

Cast your thoughts back to the beginning of May when I had a great plan for how I was going to steadily work toward my next black belt test on Sunday, June 19th.

I was so young and foolish then. That was back before a series of migraines (or was it just one long migraine?) and the associated pre & post symptoms kept me groggy and out of sorts for over two weeks in the first part of May.

GIF of two dogs at a car window. At first you see one alert dog looking out the window and then a second rises slowly next to the first, looking disheveled and only half-awake.
Guess which dog represents me in early May? Image description: a GIF of two dogs at a car window. At first you see one alert dog looking out the window and then a second rises slowly next to the first, looking disheveled and only half-awake.

And that was before the perfectly reasonable amount of work tasks I had scheduled for those two weeks had to be jammed into the week before I had to travel to the other side of the country for a conference. And it was before I was travelling, and at a conference, and then off to a writing retreat, and then off to teach a workshop, and then teaching another workshop. And it was before my knee decided to get cranky for a few days and before my back got jealous and did the same.

So, let’s just say that my slow and steady plan was not at all feasible.

Instead, I had to follow a nooks and crannies plan – jamming patterns and practice and exercise and theory into any little space that I could pry open in my schedule.

GIF of a Tetris screen
A visual representation of me fitting practice into my life over the past few weeks. Image description: a GIF of the videos game Tetris in which blocks of various colours fall from the top and you have to move a mass of pre-existing blocks around to let the new ones drop into a space where they will fit.

I had to use persistence (which, when I can activate it, is one of my superpowers) to just keep plugging away at everything and trust that it would work out.

I did my written theory test last week and I did quite well. I’m proud of the fact that I was able to work out some of the correct answers by applying my knowledge, even when I didn’t *know* the answer for sure.

All the physical testing will be on Sunday and even though I haven’t been able to do things the way I meant to, I still feel good about it.

I wasn’t able to physically practice as much or as often as I had planned to, but I did extra mental/visualization practice whenever I had a chance.

During my physical practice, I alternated between focused practice on my most recent patterns and directing my energy towards sharpening some fundamental movements that will improve my technique overall.

A GIF of a villain from the Austin Powers movies shouting ‘Fire the laser!’
Pretty much what my brain looked like whenever I started practicing. Image description: Frau Farbissina, a villain from the Austin Powers movies, a small woman in a suit with her hair in a business-like updo, is shouting ‘Fire the laser!’ while Dr. Evil, another villain, reacts.

And now I am down to just a few days of practice and I want to spend them wisely.

As I was planning my week, I was tempted to try to create an epic schedule of practice and exercise, but, luckily, a more sensible part of my brain prevailed.

Instead, I plan to do daily yoga, daily practice for my patterns and for other specific movements, and to do some specific stretches and rehab exercises for any persnickety body parts. I’m going to work smart, and work as hard as I need to, but I am not going to run the risk of exhausting myself before my test.

Normally, I go into belt tests reminding myself that ‘chance favours the prepared’ but right now that aphorism is drawing my attending to the gap between my intended preparations and my actual preparations. Focusing on that gap will NOT help so, instead, I have been reminding myself of another saying, ‘fortune favours the bold.’

On Sunday, I am going to show up bold.

In fact, I am determined to boldly go where I have never gone before – into the mental and physical space of being a 4th degree black belt.

A GIF of a character from the animated series ‘Star Trek: Below Decks’ saying ‘That’s boldly going.’​
Yep, just watch me! Image Description: A GIF of Boimler, a character from the animated series ‘Star Trek: Below Decks,’ saying ‘That’s boldly going.’

So, if you were thinking of wishing me luck for Sunday, please wish me boldness instead.

After all, that’s the best way to get fortune to favour me.

Ki-YA!

6 thoughts on “Christine’s Plan for her Belt Test: Being Bold

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