Black belt cycle, week 1

Black belt cycle began today.

Four months from now is the next Power Weekend, and awarding of black belts at the Black Belt Spectacular. The hope is I’ll be one of the recipients.

So what do I do for the next four months? I’m supposed to take four classes a week, including the candidate class on Saturday mornings. That class starts at 8:15 am and is followed by our run. My habit has been to go to classes on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays, largely because Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are not as good for bringing Kenny to the dojo, and I’d rather not go one day and bring Kenny another if I can avoid it. If I keep that up I’ll either have to get Kenny up and out the door Saturdays by 7:30 and keep him out until nearly 2:00, or do what I did today and drive home after the run, pick up Kenny, and head right back to the dojo. We’ll see.

We’re also supposed to assist teaching two classes a week. Adult basic classes on Monday and Saturday would make sense, since they’re between Kenny’s class and mine and we’re there anyway, but the candidates have an extra help class during that slot on Mondays. So either we’ll have to arrive earlier on Mondays for the class before Kenny’s or I’ll have to go in on another night… Tuesdays might work.

And we have to run, four times a week including once with the team on Saturday mornings. The requirement for black belt is to run 2 miles in less than 16 minutes.

Today we met to discuss the schedule and expectations for cycle, then started detailing white and yellow belt basics in our class: jabs and crosses, front and side kicks, Appreciation Form and Short One Kata. Noticed some things I’ve been doing wrong all along and will need to correct.

Then we went for our first timed 2-mile run of the cycle. We did a timed 2-mile last week, and my time was 16:32. Not the fastest I’ve ever done… second fastest, of the runs I’ve timed. But we ran without warming up first, and I was a little out of shape having taken it easy that week with a little stiffness in my left hip. I’d been running and exercising more this week, and was pretty well warmed up after the class, so figured I had a shot at making my time the first day of cycle.

And I did! My best time ever by almost 30 seconds: 15:37. So that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about any more… though maybe I should set a personal goal of, say, 15:00.

It’s been Fitness Week at the dojo, and Sensei Nolan says you can tell it’s been a good Fitness Week by how small the class is on Friday. Last night the adult advanced class was five people. Today it was four. And you know, doing two Fitness Week classes, one candidate class, and a timed 2 mile run in under 24 hours took a lot out of me. I’m taking it easy for a while…

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