Last night I dragged myself to the dojang.
I wanted to be there, I wanted to go, but at the same time my bed was tempting me. Wouldn’t it be fun, after working from home all day, to just put on my PJ’s, climb into bed, snuggle with my comforter and binge watch something on Netflix?
My brain was feeling numb and I almost gave in.
I did everything possible to make myself late for my class. I cooked a batch of pancakes, I took my time gearing up, I did some dusting, I read some articles online, I may have even hung off the side of my bed – upside down…and the list goes on….
I figured if I was late leaving my place and it took too long to pass Yonge street, I’d just turn around come home and go with Plan B – Pj’s+Bed+Netflix.
Surprisingly, traffic was a dream and I arrived at the dojang a good 30 minutes before class start time.
I walked into the ladies change room. There were a few kids getting ready to leave the dojang after their class and sitting in the middle of the floor was a little boy about 4 years old. He face earnest while he struggled putting on his socks.
I couldn’t help myself and observed outloud, “There is a boy in the ladies change room!”
He looked up, looked me in the eyes and deadpaned, “And what’s the problem?” and turned his attention back to putting on his socks.
Tonight is the night.
It is Grading Night.
It’s not a surprise.
We’ve known about the date for weeks. In fact we’ve known this was “likely” happening months in advance. Heck, we signed up for this “punishment” so what did we expect.
Not all Muay Thai programs grade their students. Then again not all Muay Thai dojang’s focus on technique which is what I particularily love about being a student at T.H.A. Martial Arts Toronto.
That doesn’t mean to say I enjoy grading!
I’ve gone from White to Yellow and tonight is my grading for Orange.
I’ve been to classes, I’ve practised on the mat, I’ve practised in my head on the way to work, on my way home from work, while eating dinner, in my sleep. I’ve been mentally living my moves for weeks….mostly in my head.
All day, while working, I’ve been pushing the thoughts of grading out of my head. I pace my condo, strum my ukulele, roll my hand wraps. And yet here I am 3 hours before I must present myself at the dojang and the idea of this grading feel like punishment to my brain and later, to my body! I am contemplating, why oh why I ever thought Muay Thai was a good idea!
I am imagining a very exhausted, tired Donnafay. Picking myself up from the mat. Wishing I had better conditioning, better footwork, more focused punches, killer kicks.
But I have committed myself.
I pull myself back to the moment of now.
Take a deap breath.
As prepared as I’ll ever be for what awaits….