Monday, March 7, 2011

The Trifecta of Sore

"Wait'll you see my ass bruise!" I enthused. I like the sound of "ass-bruise." It sounds kind of like "ass groove," which is a Simpsons quote.

But after my weekend, I'm covered in bruises and my muscles are sore.

I'm baaack!

I went to Shorinji Kempo Thursday night to give it my all one last time before the test Friday night. Then I went skiing Saturday afternoon. Yes, but I like to think my insanity is the good kind!

In the same way that I forget who I am if I haven't sweated through a t-shirt in recent memory, I also feel a little more badass with a small collection of bruises to prove it.

Thursday, actually, was the hardest on me. I really did everything at 100%. I also "fought" with Sensei, and the thing about that is.. I don't have bruises from where he got through my (HAH) guard and hit me.. I have bruises where I tried to, for example, kick him, and he blocked it.

I used to think that things like him happening to hit my funnybone when blocking my attacks was.. like, maybe a coincidence. Now I think, he's just really effing good.

But the one I got for trying to front kick him turned into a slightly swollen little knot on my right shin, and looks a bit like an eye in coloration.

The testing itself was not so bad. Not when you're recalling six nerve-wracking hours and you only get one. But the lead-in to the test, now that was something straight out of a dream.

The test was in Himeji, which means an hour drive. This is an hour if you know exactly where you are going and traffic is decent. A sane person would leave an extra fifteen minutes. I intended to leave forty extra minutes. That, of course, ended up not working out so well... I left at 5:41 for a 7pm test (my shirt wasn't dry, etc). But then I got 15 minutes down the road and realized I'd forgotten my white belt in my apartment, so I turned around and went to get it. I was sweating it out all the way down 29, trying to breathe slowly because we could all only go as fast as that truck up ahead. Miraculously, all the lights were green. Seriously, all of them.

Once I got on the bypass I could pass the beast (whew) but I was still cutting it close even if I knew exactly where to go, which I did not. Although when the Shorinji people asked me if I knew where to go, I said I did. I mean, I had been to the Himeji Budokan once. A year and a half ago. In daylight. Oh and we were late that time, because we got lost. Ding! But I was planning to have a lot of extra time to find it. Good good.

I miraculously (see this post about my Shishi-imitatin' protector) parked in budokan parking, then ran across the street to a building I thought might be the budokan and it was not the budokan. It was 6:54. I called the only person in Kempo who speaks English, the only person whose number I even have. I realized that even if the building I had run to had been the budokan, my uniform was still in the car.

I ran back to the car. Tore off my outer clothes and pulled the uniform on. I looked up the hill and the large mysterious building looming over me and knew that IT was the BUDOKAN. 6:58. I ran up the hill on the street, veering right. I went farther up the hill. No door. God, where was the front door?!

View Flight to the Budokan in a larger map

Finally I found it just as my contact was calling me back. Sensei was waiting in the lobby. "So, you didn't know where it was?" he asked. I wanted to plant my face in the wooden flooring. I went into the test and everyone was meditating, so I sat down with them and then we did all the preliminary stuff, state your name, get your pencil--

Get your pencil?? Of course. For the WRITTEN part of the test. Yes you can write in English. But the questions are all in Japanese. Ready go.

I have no idea why I felt okay about all of this. But I did. The actual physical part of the test was so short I almost felt like I didn't get to show how hard I'd worked to get there.

I drove home feeling really really good about life (God only knows why that was!).

So that's why I felt like it would be fun to go skiing the next day. And it was! I rented short skis this time, which I rather enjoyed.

I'd been skiing (for the second time in my life) two weeks before. There is a decent ski park about an hour from my house. I was happy because falling while skiing is okay, it's just snow! On the first run down the mountain, I fell hard right on my ski pole grip. Have you ever bruised your ass so bad it formed a knot?

I enjoyed my public bathing experiences with my friends these last couple weekends (one at the hotel in Osaka, one after skiing this week) because I'll admit it.. the only upside to having such a bruise is showing it to people, and you don't get much opportunity for that. I felt wrong taking photos of it, and so did not.. it's way past its scariest coloring by now anyway and no longer hurts at all.

Skiing made me sore two weeks ago because I only knew how to move forward by pulling myself along with the poles. This week I did not have poles so I had to skate along the snow.

But overall, upper body, lower, everything is pretty much just sore as fuck.

And now you know why!

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