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I am now the proud wearer of a red/blue belt in taekwondo! Testing day was a crazy one, and I ended up without lunch or dinner prior to testing, and with my kids in tow. I did make a green smoothie, which powered me much more than I anticipated: Water, one leaf of turnip greens, one whole key lime, a bunch of spinach, handful of cranberries, handful of frozen fruit (peaches, pineapples, blueberries), a spoonful of agave and a banana. Despite not having time to physically practice, and being on the tailend of a sinus infection, I found myself jumping and kicking higher than ever, and my focus was better than ever (had no choice but to focus intently or else my kids would make me lose focus entirely). I ended up winning an award for outstanding advanced rank adult tester...for a moment I thought I may have been the only adult tester in those ranks, but twelve and up counts as adult, so I don't think I was the only adult (but definitely the oldest one). I'm fourth gup, so four more tests before preparing for the big black belt test. That could be within the year, but it could be longer. I'll just keep pushing forward. The last of the major gymnastics is for my next test, which is intimidating, and once I get past that, there should be no stopping me. The sparring is also rather intimidating, but it sure does sharpen my skills. Earlier this month I got my first "breaking in" when it comes to sparring, because the class was small and so I got matched with teenagers with much more experience than me. That was interesting and hard, but it made a major difference in my skills and attitude, so I can see that it is necessary. By the time I totally switched into "fight mode", I was too exhausted to fight, but I did get some good kicks in at that point despite my fatigue. Then I had a hard time getting out of fight mode when it was time to go home. I have a bit of trouble balancing and controlling my autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nervous system, but I think it will improve with experience. I certainly feel more capable of handling a dangerous situation than I was before, but know that I could use plenty more practice.
Christmas went well, diet-wise, with only a slight bit of cheating over a very short period of time, but it was mostly made up of good choices. A few too many meals were skipped in the preparations, but that was somewhat made up for with green smoothies.
In many ways I don't want to review my year, because I don't feel like I've made much progress in many of the things I wanted to change about myself. At the same time, it was a healthier year than the previous one, and it has left me a stronger person: physically, mentally, and hopefully spiritually. So much of life is just raw endurance, and I found that I've got plenty of that raw material inside me. While I don't have a lot to show for most of my efforts, I cringe at the thought of what state I'd be in if I hadn't worked so hard.