Sunday, October 26, 2014

Black Belt Testing

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Step Defense
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Holds and Soles

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Fitness Test (100 jump ropes then 2 laps-x5)
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200 Step Ups (+200 burpees+200 push ups+200 air squats)
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Hopefully Chloe will get her board breaking stripe this week and then we are done! Four times a week since kindergarten! This kiddo has some perseverance.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stitches and Teachers

I was supposed to go do a photo shoot yesterday evening for a company, but it got postponed and it was a good thing, because I spent the evening in Urgent Care. (Which should have been more accurately named Take Your Time Care, or Forget About The Patient and Gossip About Your Neighbor Care.) Aidan came home from school covered in blood from a gaping gash in his chin compliments of a post school bike crash. I'm not really squeamish, but I did have to avert my eyes while they were sewing it closed. Some things are better left unseen. Instead, I stared at the walls, but they were such an ugly depressing brown color, with hideous pictures that looked as if someone had pulled them out of the trash in the seventies, that I settled on staring at the white sheet instead. At least it was white with a comforting worn look. Unlike the rest of the room that looked worn, but in a way that made you feel like you might either be really sick or want to hurt someone, it was a toss up for me.

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Sunset from the top of the ski run in Telluride
Aidan has this group of friends at school, and often I spend the last few minutes of evening sitting on the edge of his bed as he describes stories of the day's antics. I laugh because I think they are witty and clever and funny. Sometimes teachers call me and share stories in their grown up teacher language which makes everything sound more stern and serious. Sometimes, I still laugh, just a little bit, because it still sounds funny, and then I remember that I'm a responsible grown up and try to think what would my sister do? and respond accordingly. 

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Sunset over Telluride

Clint Eastwood was our doctor at the non Urgent Care. He even talked with a sort of drawl, and carried his scissors in a quick draw little holster in the small of his back. I'm also sure he had a horse tied up out back.

They asked Aidan if he might be allergic to anything in the salve and he said, "No, just cats, so I'm pretty sure we are okay, unless that's a cat you are rubbing on my face", which seemed to confuse the nurse who launched into an explanation about it's really the protein in the cat hair that he was allergic to, not the cat. So if they were rubbing a hairless cat on his face, it would be ok?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A 12 Minute Fight

I know every year I go on and on about how much I love Fall. But I can't help myself, really. It's like a weeks long sunset, the earth preparing for a season of rest, and a master Artist has splashed everything in hues of colors that bathe me in joy. I keep hearing whispers to "Stop and Rest...Breathe". And I try. I leave dishes in the sink, and clean laundry waiting on the couch, and I go outside. But then the days strap me in and take me for another ride, and sometimes it's all I can do to keep up.  A few weeks ago, I took the kids out of school and we took an epic road trip to Telluride,  (14+ hours of driving in two days!) because we just needed to.

Yesterday, Chloe had her black belt sparring test. She's only ten, the youngest in her group of candidates, and skinny. Chloe dislikes sparring, and has been so nervous about her testing that she's crawled in bed with me at night to gather warmth and comfort like a blanket. She looked small and vulnerable on the mat, her only protection headgear and gloves. The rules were that she had to fight for 12 minutes straight, facing fresh opponents every couple of minutes, and at the end, two attackers at a time. The opponents were all boys, and two men. The boys danced on the side, chomping at the bit in eagerness, all of them towering over Chloe, wearing full safety gear, and obviously enjoying the idea of sanctioned fighting. And then they started, the boys in turn rushing out onto the mat, all swinging arms and kicking legs.

The two other girls fighting for their black belts took the onslaughts by backing away, and by the end, their nervous grins had turned into unshed tears, and we were all clapping and cheering, and straining for them to finish, to not give up, to keep fighting, whether they were our child or not.

I saw Chloe whispering to her instructor to please let her take her turn early, before I had to leave to get Aidan from cello. Chloe met the boys with a fierce rush of her own. She began spinning and dancing out of the way, dodging their flailing arms, then darting in to counterattack. Twice she nearly knocked a boy down with a hard kick to the chest, and their unbridled enthusiasm turned into a more cautious advance. My baby girl is a fierce little warrior. Her headgear was knocked off multiple times, and her loose hair began to cover her face like a screen, but she kept going, taking shots to the head and ribs, over and over again, but giving it all right back. She would dodge out and then come back in with a spinning back sweep to their legs.

Towards the end, Chris and I were standing, not caring that we were yelling loud enough to hear in Texas, only that we were loud enough for her to hear. As the final countdown began, Chloe ducked and weaved between the two attackers, then grabbed the boy's arm and used him as a shield to absorb the punches from the man. When she finished, standing there red faced and sweaty, she had earned the respect of everyone in the room and high praise from her instructors, who were proud both of her courage, and her physical conditioning. That's my girl.