Exhausted and Elated

dog
Dog tired but happy!

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?

Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

3 thoughts on “Exhausted and Elated”

  1. Good for you! I think it was a combination of all the things you mentioned. Certainly our mental state is very important. Believing you can is key. The assist on the return move builds strength, and adequate rest between muscle exercises allows growth.

    I reached a new height, since I returned to practice, with my roundhouse kick today at the dojo during class. When I got home I kicked a mobile hanging in my office! That was great, except the second time I went to do it, I was so focused on my target I slammed my foot into a chair as I brought the kick up! Now I’m limping around, lol, It will heal.

    1. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow! That’s great about your roundhouse kick, though 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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