It's not blasphemy

This is me not studying.

I had a very busy weekend. On Friday night, I had my very first belt test in Taekwondo and Hapkido. I was really nervous about it, mostly because I knew I'd have to do 10 pushups. Two weeks ago, I couldn't do one pushup, which sounds really wussy, but it's actually pretty normal. Most women struggle with doing real pushups, because we've been doing girly knee-pushups since at least junior high. I had trained myself to do chataranga, or yoga pushups, which actually led to a bit of an embarrassing problem.

From plank pose (aka pushup position), I can lower myself to the ground slowly, with control, keeping my body perfectly straight, and my elbows glued to my sides. I can hover there, 2 inches above the ground for at least a full minute, without sagging or collapsing. The trouble is, I can't get back up! In yoga, you don't need to; after you're done holding in the "hover" pose, you just drop to the ground and push through to upward-facing dog (tops of feet on the floor, hips low to the ground, arms straight, back arched, looking up at the ceiling). When I'd try to push up (a critical part of pushups, I understand), there was just nothing there. It was like I didn't even have the muscles necessary to do it; I didn't feel straining, I just didn't feel anything. I was stuck! I couldn't even tell which muscles I should be using.

Confused about how to develop strength in muscles I wasn't sure I had, I turned to that great reservoir of knowledge, the internet, for answers. I came across a great website, Stumptuous.com, where I found my solution. I did inclined pushups, with my feet on the floor and my hands on something higher - the kitchen counter, the dining room table, a chair, the piano bench - gradually working my way towards the ground. When I'm doing pushups on inclined surfaces, I make sure to go all the way down and come all the way back up. I can't go quite that far yet during regular pushups, but I can, actually, for real do what I call a big-girl pushup. In fact, I can do 10 of them, as I found out Friday night at my belt test. Moral of the story? You can do pushups, too. Real ones. Big-girl pushups. It's very empowering. You should try it!

So, after the pushups, I had to do my form (for Taekwondo), demonstrate some basic punches, kicks and breathing excercises (for Hapkido), and perform my required Hapkido techniques, plus sparring. So basically, as a white belt 1st stripe in Hapkido, I can definately get away from you if you grab me by the wrist. Not too exciting, but everyone's gotta start somewhere!

After all that - and this is pretty cool - I broke a board with my fist! It was the end of the Taekwondo test, and I did a Hammer Fist break, my first ever in life. It hurt because I did it wrong, but I did break the board on the first try, and I didn't break my hand. So now I have two broken pieces of wood on my dining room table that I'm not sure what to do with.

That was Friday night.

Saturday, I fenced epee in the first tournament I've competed in in almost 2 years. And what do ya know? I'm still a pretty decent epeeist. I put in a respectable performance, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pleased with myself. The tournament lasted ALL DAY (as usual), and afterwards I went to see Casino Royale with a very handsome young man. Have you seen that movie yet? Best. Bond. Ever.

Yes, better than Sean Connery.