Journal from 7/2/16:
Why am I happy about being exhausted? It’s because I’ve done more today than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve been pushed hard physically and was literally dripping with sweat after the end of a brutal three hour training session. Three hours every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday since May 26th. Jogging. Sprinting. Brutal arm, ab, and leg work. Kumite drills. Kumite. Kata. Kihon. Today I broke my records for the fiendish variations of push-ups that we do. On one fiendish arm exercise, I have suddenly gone from 12 to 26 reps. On another, I went from 10 to 20. Yet another – five to ten. I really can’t explain this sudden explosion in ability.
I’m going to hazard a guess.
One week ago today I pushed hard to get to the number we were told to do, but I still couldn’t in spite of weeks of training and, most importantly, doing these exercises at home on non-training days. Sure I had improved since the first days of training, but last week I couldn’t do the number of reps we were told to do. I fought my weakness and I fought hard.
Something beautiful happened. Every time I struggled, one of the black belts came and physically assisted me so that I could finish the required repetitions. He did not let me collapse, which, in some of the exercises, might have resulted in injury. I was fighting so hard that I didn’t really hear the encouraging words, just the soothing tone. When I finished each exercise, I allowed myself three seconds on the mats, no more. I wanted to cry from a combination of frustration, relief, and from the sheer wonderfulness of having someone support and encourage me.
Thursday and Friday of this week the arm workouts were lighter and I did pretty well. Then came today – we were told to do what we usually do. And I proceeded to blow my previous records out of the water. At the end of each exercise I would say, “I can’t believe I did it!” Maybe it was the psychological boost from last week that made the difference? What do you think?