Tiger Press and Horse Stance Optional

imageThe week has just gotten started and I’m anxious for it to end already. I’ve been preparing for a test in Kung Fu, which is scheduled for this Thursday night.

There are arm locks, head locks and the hammer lock to practice and memorize, kicks and fists, eight directional stepping and eight mother palms, Plum blossom hands, ground boxing and the dreaded animal forms. The 64 form needs to be perfect and Sifu says anything from the first day of training could be tested.

My husband lived and trained with the only Karate Dan level Red Belt in Japan many years ago. When I began my Kung Fu training, I would come home so anxious to show him what I had learned.

I stood in the kitchen throwing kicks and fists at him until one day he couldn’t help himself and his automatic reaction took over….I almost got a bloody nose. That’s when he got me the body bag that now hangs in our garage.

This past weekend he even relaxed himself enough to let me perform the arm lock on his arm – minus the bloody nose. Every spare moment of the day is consumed with practice and study.

I’ve done 50 tiger presses every day and for the life of me I don’t think they are an ounce easier than the first one I did years ago.

The 15 minutes of holding the horse stance has left my legs and lower back sore. After standing there for about 5 minutes, everything from the waist down starts quivering until I think my legs will giggle right out from under me. The hardest part of holding the horse stance is holding myself still for 15 minutes. I just want it all to end.

Running seems to be the background noise in my life at the moment. It doesn’t hold that place of honor I typically like for it to occupy. Last Sunday’s long run was an escape from life’s infringements.

It was overcast and quiet and there was a steady rain from about mile 4 through 6 that made it pleasantly cool. I came across two familiar cyclists that waved hello but no dogs – a nice change of pace. But speaking of pace…..

Saturday’s run was to be at race pace. It wasn’t until the 3rd mile that I actually hit race pace – and then I didn’t hold it there for long. Finally somewhere after the 4-mile mark I gave up and said screw it, I’ll try again next week. After I had settled down into a comfortable stride for awhile, I took a glance at my watch. I was 10 seconds faster than race pace. There’s still a lot to be said about relaxing and letting your body, and your training, do the work.

This week’s schedule calls for two 3-mile runs, two 6-mile runs with Saturday’s run at race pace again, and a 13-mile long run on Sunday. My husband found a new bike for me with all the right components and a price tag that was just right. UPS couldn’t find our house last Friday so my new bike spent the weekend at the distribution center.

Today I pick it up and hopefully by Friday morning my reward for all this hard work will be a nice, long bike ride on my new bike. Tiger press and horse stance optional.

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