Note: Another crossover post from BECAUSE I'M FAT... because this is the sequel...
Thursday's class, which was the last one before today's test: Chris (VERY tall dude) and I worked together on everything we had, but didn't get to the one pinan. So at the end of class, Master Jerry was asking... Are you ready? The other instructors told him that I was good on everything they saw, but since we hadn't had time to go to the pinan, I would have to come early on Saturday and show it to him before he decided on the test.
Friday night, Darling Man and I worked out together. We ran through EVERYTHING I needed for the test and he gave me a couple of pointers. I put him on the ground several times, much to his surprise - and I did it well. My horoscope was spot on for Friday! When we were done, I felt so much more comfortable - more ready than I expected to feel. I stayed up late doing laundry and I ironed my gi. Set everything out for morning.
So this morning rolls around. I have my coffee, read the paper. And think about the upcoming test. I start getting a little anxious. I can't help it - I worry about tests of every kind, not just this kind. Breathe, Sayre, breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Drink water. Get hydrated. No!!!! Not so much that you'll have to pee during the test!!! Slow down! Sips, not gulps. Sip. Sip. Sip. Go take a shower. Get dressed. Calm down!
I get there and the 10 o'clock class has about 15 minutes left. The room is FULL of people. I bow in and stand in the back of the room watching, waiting to catch Master Jerry's eye. He glances my way after about 5 minutes and I beckon him over. "Yes?"
"Sir, you said you wanted to see my one pinan before you decided about the test today. Is now a good time?"
"Let's see it."
A space was cleared and I started. It's a hard thing to do, but my body's doing it without engaging my brain too much. It needs to be good, but also automatic. If you have to think too much in a fight, you lose. I'm making my turn back towards Master Jerry when I notice that the WHOLE ROOM is watching me do this. I finish anyway. When I'm done, Master Jerry comes over and says, "When you come back to the middle, you should land in a guard stance, not a horse stance. Go fill in the sign up sheet."
Class ends and about 10 of the people leave. They were just there for class. The rest get drinks of water, wipe their faces off, and then come back in. We line up, according to belts and seniority. I'm fourth in line behind a blue belt and two oranges. I've been senior yellow belt for months. If I get through this, I can be a junior orange belt... (junior meaning newer). And we begin.
We all run through our strikes, our kicks, our blocks. The attending black belts walk up and down the rows taking notes. Then we are paired up to work our combinations and kenpos on each other. My partner is Chris, who's been my work out partner for a few weeks now. He's VERY tall, and sometimes when I try to do stuff to him, I feel like I'm over-reaching. So in a way it's bad, because I'm always a little off-balance with him. But it's also good, because I have to do each thing very well in order for it to work on him. Mixed blessing.
Over and over. Punch, kick, throw, twist, bend, block, stab, club. First he attacks, then I do - back and forth. We're pouring sweat, breathing hard. It's a relief when we're told to line up again. Then we go through response exercises. Master Jerry calls out a combination, a strike, a kenpo - anything we've learned to this point is possible and we have to do it without hesitation. I actually got block 3 off. 3 and 4 always mess me up.
And finally, pinans. Good! Again. Good! Okay, now... mirror pinans. WHAT??? What is that? Same as one pinan, but going the other way. Uh oh. I completely screwed it up. I did it three times trying to get it right and managed to walk right into the wall. Master Jerry started laughing and you could hear the hushed giggles of the rest of the testers, but by God I finished it. Clumsy and definitely not right, but I finished. He winked at me and said "Gotcha!"
We always end our tests with endurance. It's to teach you that no matter how tired you are, you still have some fight left in you. 50 12-point squat kicks. By now, my knees are making quite a bit of noise. You can hear them at 10 paces. Master Jerry tells me that I can do stationary horse stance instead of kicks. I ask if I can do kicks until I can't and switch over and he says okay. I manage 10 before my knees want to fall apart, so I go into a horse stance and close my eyes. My feet are killing me. Sweat is running down my face. I have no idea how long I stayed there like that - probably 5 minutes. I've only managed 3 before. When Chris finishes his kicks next to me, I wait another 10 seconds, then kneel with my eyes closed. We stay there until everyone has finished, then stay there some more until all the belts and certificates have been handed out.
Next belt... PURPLE!