Martial Arts, Fitness, and Writing, Oh My!

The theme for the past month or so for me seems to be change. It’s been almost exactly a month since my last post, and I’ve been a busy girl. As per always. What have I been doing?

Kempo

We’re gearing up once again at the dojo for our annual Kempo Camp. Three days of intense training in a beautiful setting. It’s usually ridiculously hot and we all end up taking four showers a day, but it’s a lot of fun.

Kempo Jiujitsu technique being demonstrated for Sensei.
2018 Kempo Camp, with Sensei watching as I attempt “Snapping Reed,” a technique that I continue to struggle with a year later.

There was some early talk of me testing for my first stripe at camp, but I don’t believe that will happen. I simply don’t have enough classes under my belt yet to do it (even though I’ve been going three times a week for the last month and a half). I’ve only just learned all the Brown 1st techniques and I don’t have them down well enough to pass any kind of test yet.

However, word on the street is there may be another brown belt test in October since we’ll have a large group wanting to test soon. So, maybe then? Who knows? For all I know, Sensei will pull us out of the regular camp rotation and test us anyway. Sensei does what Sensei does and we do our best to keep up.

You know, as a baby ninja, I used to look at the upper ranks and wonder how they did it. They’d come for the beginner class and use that as a warm-up for the upper ranks class immediately after. I thought they were nuts. Until I started doing the same thing.

There is something about this art that just sucks you in. I love my classes. I look forward to them every week. They challenge the hell out of me, and sometimes I get frustrated beyond belief. I have many things I struggle with still, including a lot of the throws. I often have to remind myself that I’ve only been doing this for three years. Some of this stuff takes a long time to truly understand and master. There are always nuances, and you’ve got to just keep doing it. Because one day, you’ll just . . . get it. And it feels real damned good.

Fitness and Nutrition

A friend of mine recently recommended this book, and now I must recommend it to all of you Fit Ladies out in the world:

picture of the ROAR book cover
Informative, yet easy to read. Even if you’re not an elite athlete (lord knows I’m not), there is still TONS of good info here for you!

It’s an excellent book that has great recommendations for all of us women who are working on becoming fit and active (or already are), but struggle sometimes because the information out there doesn’t seem right for us. That’s because it isn’t! A lot of sports nutrition and information is researched and tested on men, then shrunk down for women. But as the author likes to say, “women are not small men!”

This book has excellent recommendations on nutrition, why it seems harder to push through a tough workout sometimes, and advice on how to maximize your training with the physiology you’ve been given. It’s not a weight loss book. It’s an you’re awesome just how you are, go kill it book. Written for women, by women. Please go buy it, read it, and implement her suggestions.

***

About two months ago, I gave up caffeine. WHAT? I know, crazy. My husband did it first because he felt it was having a negative effect on his eating and digestion. I followed along because, one, solidarity. But also, I knew I was addicted to it and I wanted to see what life would be like without constantly craving another hit of that marvelous, wondrous coffee.

I must say, after the headaches and exhaustion passed (I seriously took more naps those two+ weeks of withdrawal than I have in years), I felt pretty good. While my mind often misses it, my body doesn’t. I am finding that my energy is much more level over the course of the day, and I no longer experience those mid-afternoon crashes like I used to. It’s kinda nice.

Writing and Editing

In late May/early June, I joined Upwork (you can find me here. Hire me! I’m awesome). Since then, I’ve found work and have been officially writing professionally. I’m finding it a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience in the writing world as well as finding freelance work I’d never be able to otherwise.

I’ve also made progress on re-finding my fiction roots. I used to write a lot of it back in the day, but life (as it does) got in the way and I stopped. I’m focusing predominately on short stories right now, and I’ve got to say I’m having a lot of fun. I’ve also started delving back into my part self-help/part-memoir nonfiction book. Maybe I’ll finish before I die. Who knows?

Crate full of printed out manuscripts
I am unsure how I feel about reading a romance novel my grandmother wrote, so I’m starting with the YA stuff instead.

My mother recently found some of my grandmother’s old manuscripts and she gave them to me. There is one romance novel, a couple YA novels, and a ton of short stories in the box. From what I can tell, they’re mostly earlier drafts that need quite a bit of work done to them. She had a few YA books published back in the day; if I can get one or two in good shape, I may contact that vanity press and see if they’re interested, or otherwise self-publish them on Amazon or something.

I’ve got to admit, after all this time, I am beyond surprised that this is my life. I am doing things I love, going after dreams, and challenging myself in ways I never dared to, once upon a time. It feels good. It feels damned good.

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