feeling pretty exhausted today. part of this is because i woke up at 4 am and have been up, since. and part of it is because i pushed a piano up the street yesterday. but most of it, i’m guessing, is simply because it’s been an intense arc of energy that has brought me here from a month ago or so. the intense drilling on the demo team, the training and buildup for korea night…the challenge of getting poomsae koryo down well enough to present to koreans on korea night; the (new, advanced) kick i practiced over and over so that i could pull it off in the sparring demo, the basic formation stuff that was new to me only weeks ago…what a rush. what a challenge. what a peak moment that night was. i’ll never forget those moments backstage, lining the hall, listening to those big, deep korean drums vibrating the building and the air, waiting to enter. i was jogging in place, no, i was hopping up and down, bursting over with excitement. it was something i can’t quite compare to anything else.
then, after that super concentrated burst of energy, it was over! just like that. and my body and mind were filled with all this extra energy that had to ease itself off, that didn’t want to be just shut like a light. that’s been a little hard, a little unexpected, a bit energetically weird. for a day and more, i’ve been sort of trying to bring that energy down, put it back in place, let it spill all over and find its own level. get back to normal living feeling.
i was invited, the day after the event, to join the dojang’s Core Demo team…this is the school’s central demo group (K likes to say that we are, as a group, “elite but not elitist”) that will practice all year round, tightening routines, coming up with new routines, building a core demo team that is always ready to perform, and getting in practice that brings us to a level that we would not be able to reach without the extra time and practice. there are only about 10 of us doing this, though the core team will be buttressed by other demo team peformers depending on the event. we will meet regularly, all year, once a week. i’m definitely honored to be doing this, to be asked to do this, to be entrusted to represent the dojang in this way; to be recognized for the hard work i’ve put in so far. honored to be one of three red belts amongst a crew of otherwise all black belts. that’s no small thing. i look forward to the extra challenge and opportunity to work and rise.
in ten days i’ll double-test for Cho Dan Bo. i’ve written about this rank before; it’s the last rank before black belt. it’s basically First Dan Candidate, and you spend at least 6 months (it will be more like 9 for me) preparing for that black belt test. or it might be more accurate to say bringing yourself to the proper level before you qualify to be a black belt. making sure you have the body of knowledge and technique down that brought you this far, from white to red belt/Cho Dan Bo. making sure you have met leadership requirements, that you can not just demonstrate your technique, but also can teach them; that you know your korean commands, history, and have put in the all the required amount of training. on the mental and verbal side, there are also reports to be written.
so that’s a big test on the 11th, but i’m very much looking forward to it.
and then after that, there will be no more little milestones–at least in terms of rank advancement–for almost a year. just more training. more sweat. more challenge. steady repetition, relentless drilling, a gradual refinement; more joy.