Friday, August 17, 2007

That first class...

Showing up to the dojang that first time was a bit intimidating. Not only was I feeling out of sorts from just the "new place" but I was also wearing an outfit that your average American doesn't put on and wear in public. We (my kids and I) were ushered into a training room where most of the people had an idea of what was going on, but not us. The dojang we go to has a formal routine they start the class with....which is in Korean. My kids and I just kinda looked at each other with that "Do you know what to do?" look. We decided at least we could just follow whatever everyone else was doing.

Then the instructor told us to meditate. Everyone sat down, crossed their legs and then silence. Well, I'm not exactly "meditating" here. I'm more concerned about the length of my toenails on my bare feet than I am about "becoming one with the universe". Seriously, what should I have been "meditating on"?

Next came the stretching exercises. What are they saying? Hanadulsetnetdossetyossetmumblemumble..... Ok, I figured out they were counting. I figured Korean. But good grief, what are they counting too? How do you say one? Hearing a new foreign language for the first time is a bit disconcerting. You really can't pick up on when one word ends and the next begins. Note, I took French in high school. But that was a long time ago. Lots of moving around into different positions stretching out different muscles intermixed with crunches (good grief! how long since I've done one of those let alone 25!), russian twists, push-ups, wide push-ups, diamond push-ups. Did I mention I was out-of-shape?

Then, us new belts got separated out of the group into our own special room. Kicking. Lots and lots of kicking. Things I didn't know my legs could do. And punching, lots of punching the air. (And yes....the Rocky theme did go through my head). And sweat, lots of sweat. Moving around this much weight creates a lot of sweat. This is wear the instruction really started to happen. The dojang has higher belts helping out in the class and they really showed us what to do and how to do it. They also encouraged us a great deal.

The class finished with another formal routine in Korean. However, this time it was all explained to us.

My kids and I left the room and just looked at each other. I was glad to see that my kids had smiles on their faces. I wonder what was on mine.

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