forgotten_aria: (felicia sleep)
I jogged 20 minutes without stopping today. It was a wicked slow pace, but the point was to do it. I still don't like running, but it's getting easier to get my self out the door. On hot days, I'm preferring the slower pace, longer run. I'm hoping as things cool down and can work more towards speed.

There are now 8 weeks left before testing. I'm still not sure I'll pass. To complicate things I'm having trouble with shuttle runs too. The turns wear me out, especially because I can only "hockey stop" about 6 before my knees start complaining at me. I have to do 15 in 2 minutes. I can do about 14 now. I get really tired at 6. It doesn't seem to matter what pace I go because it's the acceleration and deceleration that tire me.

The good news is that the application (and application fee) due date is AFTER the physical, so I can delay until after I know if I've passed to hand over my money. I will be very disappointed if I have to wait another year, but in the end, I don't NEED a black belt. This was never about the carrot, but I've been programmed to want the carrot for too long to not have it affect me.

In other news, I had a bad interaction with one of the students and let the master know about it. Not only was his reaction perfect, but did a great job of caring not only for the other student, but for my personal reaction as well. I am SO GLAD I searched and finally found this place.
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I got my bodan today (deputy black belt.) This is the last belt before black, but I'll be working a year on refining the knowledge and getting physically stronger (I'm still missing the ability to pass my 1.5 mile run and my standing long jump.)

I was really looking forward to changing my Fb banner to all my past belts lined up, but since I'm still avoiding FB, I can't do that, so I'll post it here, even though it's not a banner.

belts-20161119
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Been a little busy with the trip to Pittsburgh to help my mom buy a car and then Black Ships.

Taekwondo is doing well. This weekend I test for "high brown" which means just "deputy black" before black. In a lot of ways I'm really glad the master convinced me to not try to black this year. I means I can be more mellow and I'm forced to come to terms with the "maintenance" part of TKD, which is to say, after high brown, the amount you learn per year goes way down and you are expected to learn things with more accuracy and precision. I am such a passion driven person, though, sometimes I have to remind myself that TKD just makes me feel better and it's completely worth doing just for that reason and the other carrots are just crutches. I'm doing something that improves my quality of life and that's enough.

I put myself on a waiting list for a therapist again. They called back today and I have introductory appointment this Friday. I know it's going to be completely different this time, because I'm in a very different place. My depression, while still existent, is much better than it was. I want to work more on my anxiety and paranoia, which I feel I can get advice on and maybe some more tools in my tool kit, which feels more like something that someone else can help with. But we'll see. There are a lot of horrible therapists out there and the ones that take new patients are more likely to be the ones with high turn over.

Taiko is... odd. I definitely have the "you can't go back there" problem. I really don't feel like I belong any more to the group or to the community, but I'm still quite active and doing many of the income producing jobs. I can't say I want to be doing them, but I still can enjoy them when I have to do them. We're struggling to find students, however, and that's stressing me out. I'm currently teaching pro bono just because I was tired of canceling classes and I like my students.

I made another Overwatch themed music video. I've been slow about posting music videos lately, partly because I've been busy enough and partly because since it's not yet an income source, I want to keep it relaxed and fun. My first overwatch video has done much better than anything else I've posted, which is cool, but still just in the noise as far as income goes. I'm also not that happy with this one. The song didn't quite come out the way I was hoping, but the idea is that I need practice making music and videos. Video. ) I've also been playing a lot of overwatch.

No new instruments. I am getting another USB controller for Ableton tomorrow.

I haven't been able to hit school of honk much lately and I'm having ear inflamation that I think is caused by earplugs, so I might have to skip again. I got some new ear plugs that are cheap self moulded ear plugs and I hope they'll help some, but we'll see.

Been enjoying the AC comfort of the new house. Reminding myself one of the reasons I moved out of 133.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I tested for the next belt today. It wasn't that great, I messed up on some stupid things, but no biggie.

During my board break, I broke the board into three pieces and the third flew towards a parent and thankfully missed, but hit the wall. I also hurt my foot a little, so I limped for a moment while turning back to bow.

boring pictures of wood )
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I didn't make testing this belt, which I think was because I had a brain-o when reviewing my first stripe stuff, but my master doesn't give that great feed back unless you ask, so I don't know for sure.

Here's the thing though, getting my next belt doesn't really mean much, except I get to learn some new things and I get to being a black belt sooner (possibly a year sooner, depending on how timing works out.) But I'm not doing TKD for the belts. I'm doing it to get exercise in a fun way that has enough structure that I feel like I'm learning something while working out. Part of what I want is to be a better person and part of that is to learn patience.

So is this the way to learn patience and resilience to disappointment?? To watch as my brain chemistry exerts more control over my own brain than the logic that I don't really gain anything from eventually being a black belt? No amount of logic said both internally and out loud would reduce the feeling of disappointment and failure.

I was raised very goal oriented, and I know this is not something that is good for my mental health, so in theory having a disappointment which is an almost empty goal should be a good practice element, but I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere.

To confuse matters worse, my bad moods seem to be a delayed reaction to (relatively mild) stress. I'm not sure how to heal to be able to handle a "normal" amount of stress. Add into that, my stress made me tactless which made me more stressed, which made me not get enough sleep.

So now I'm fighting the feelings I get when depressed. That I'm useless and unwanted and desperately want to belong and be a part of something.

Which is sad, because I had some of the best fue noodling I've ever had during a gig today and I wish I could savor that accomplishment.
forgotten_aria: (casio sb)
Taekwondo is still awesome, though I might get a little stuck on this belt because my shoulder doesn't like the front falling technique. Surprisingly, however, my shoulder is doing better with it than I thought, so instead of testing by falling from my knees (which my Master was going to be fine with if it seemed like my shoulder wasn't going to be ok with it any time soon) I have told him I want to learn to do it right and catch myself falling from standing. It's progressing more quickly than I thought, but I also need to be super careful, since if I do it wrong, I might hurt myself and set things back further.

For my birthmonth (which is next month) I decided to finally splurge and bid on a handpan. I got really really enamored with this one handpan, bid on it, and then the guy took down the auction. Then I went through a strange thought process. I found out there was a kick starter for an electric hand pan. Half the cost and you could program it to be in many different keys and even a few different voices. I thought "that's silly, but those are good points about handpans" and so I came to the sad conclusion that I shouldn't spend that much on such a constrained instrument, even though I've wanted one for years and years.

And then my favorite handpan person had an auction that didn't sell, and he reposted it. And I was worried that I would change my mind and regret, which also seemed silly. But some how I rationalized that I could likely resell the thing for more than my budget. So I bid (less than my budget was when I bid on the auction that got taken down) and surprisingly won. I wish I were as excited as I would have been a year ago, but given that I'm not sure if I convinced myself of something I shouldn't have done... well, well see. It is supposed to arrive 22nd. Hopefully the weather won't knock it out of tune. It has three extra bottom dings, which I'm not sure how you are intended to play them (though I know that's not unique.)

Maybe if I love it, it will be weird enough I can get hired as background music.

EDIT: I'm getting a little bit of excitement now. "Holy cow! I'm going to own a handpan!"
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I love that my Taekwondo master is so understanding of personal injuries and such. By being understanding of my knees, back and wrists, they've gotten so much better. Next on the docket, my shoulder. We're doing a front falling technique and he's letting me start from my knees until we know my shoulder can take it.

life hack?

Jan. 12th, 2016 12:30 am
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
At my Taekwondo place, there is a visiting master who, when ever she led class, I would feel horribly sick and not be able to make it through the whole class. This left me crying, feeling horrible physically and hating myself mentally. I hated it.

Last time I got the theory that I was over heating, because when I had to quit I felt immediately better when I put a wet towel on the back of my neck.

So I went and found a special cloth my mother bought me for hot taiko days which contains the chemical that holds on to water. The idea is that you soak it, and then tie it around your neck to feel cooler.

AND IT WORKED!

I did the whole class and didn't feel remotely nauseous!

She said, "well maybe you are just stronger." I said, "no, it was like a switch!"

So apparently my body has a heat dump problem and I seem to have foudn a workaround.

I wonder if this is why exercise so often makes me feel just horrible.

(BTW, except for the classes where I did feel queasy, TKD makes me feel pretty good. Every now and then I'll twig my knee or shoulder, but other than that it is really making me feel better physically. Mentally I'm in a good state where I've stopped caring about how fast I progress, which for me is important. I'm enjoying the doing, not the goal.)
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
Just some highlights:

My niece's wedding was awesome. They're vows were the best ever, the atmosphere was wonderful, the location was amazing. Many people, including myself and my mom found more energy than we thought to dance. Watching TDK demo team where the lead is wearing a wedding dress is awesome!

My niece also helped me with TKD and we did Taeguek Sa jang together.

The weather has been completely amazing and my mom and I went for lovely walk, finding a hidden nature walk in Nepean.

My mother got her passport finally!

My sister put 71 candles on my mom's cake and she blew them all out (and nothing caught on fire.)

We saw "The Walk" which wigged out my fear of heights more than a roller coaster. It was still very enjoyable and a great use of 3D.

So many things I can't eat because of the dairy thing and mostly I don't mind, but I'm not quite getting enough calories and I do regret not being able to have the wedding cake that everyone is raving about.

The left over wedding mead was awesome.

Last minute I bought a shiny bracelet which delighted me all night, for no real reason. I was also wearing the shoes I thought were "cute" enough to buy them when I didn't need too. I got many compliments on my dress.

Someone flirted with me and called me beautiful, but they were quite drunk.

I'm sure there are other things too. Tomorrow we go to a French restaurant, which I've already phoned and asked if they can accommodate my dairy issue.

something

Sep. 26th, 2015 03:12 pm
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I'm stuck in TKD which isn't bad in theory, but it's feeding into my "I'm not good at anything" script.

I don't know how to fail without beating myself up. I need to learn to fail better, but I fear I am too old to do that. That that's something you can only learn when you are 6.

I'd like to find something that I am both good at, that I want to do and that other people want me to do. But I think more importantly I want to find a way to live with myself.

too nice

Sep. 19th, 2015 11:10 pm
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I've been called too nice a lot during my life.

My master was having us spar him without him wearing protective gear. Now I know he can block anything I throw at him, but I was pulling my kicks anyway. He kept telling me to kick harder, it was ok, that he only wears the gear to protect his dobok from blood other people. And I kept shaking my head, "I can't sir."

"Too nice."

Through my mouth guard I tried to say, "I'm Canadian, sir."

TKD update

Jun. 13th, 2015 01:06 pm
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
Got my blue belt today. More importantly signed and paid for my 2 year contract and, once I return from Pittsburgh, get to start weapons and sparring! Now I have shiny blue swingie sticks (nunchaku) and a foam helmet.

TKD-hat-20150613

They also named me student month. "You look surprised." Yeah, well, I was.
forgotten_aria: (koto bridges)
So here's my delema.

Taekwondo:
  • is good for me physically: I'm feeling less pain and more ease of movement

  • makes me happy: I look forward to it and usually come home feeling good

  • costs money


Taiko:
  • was physically damaging: both my arm issue and hearing loss

  • was causing me tons of stress: I still watch them not getting enough help from people, the group is struggling for new members as well

  • paid money: I could officially call myself a professional musician

  • had a great community: both the people I saw every week and the people who I saw once every two years. I'm still missing a community like that.

  • let me perform: I'm still performing with them some, but no where near as much as I'd like to, though me rejoining wouldn't completely fix hat


Taiko and Taekwondo are both evening things and cannot be reasonably done together.

My other musical/artistic pursuits are not panning out. It is extremely hard being a solo act and also trying to learn an instrument and do something different with it. I really want to be performing on a regular basis.

My ability to deprogram myself to be ok with no income still hasn't crossed the tipping point. I really want to be doing something that brings in money, even if it's only a little bit of money.

Logic says that I shouldn't go back to taiko, but my heart wants me to damn it all and just return.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
My Taekwondo school has been talking a lot about completions lately. With the exception of demo team, I do not want to compete. One of the things I hated when I was fencing was we would be required to compete as women, even if there were only two women who show up. Once we had only two sabre women's teams and to keep us from getting bored they let us fence the men. We would have come second in the men (there were about 7-8 teams if we had been allowed to actually compete with them. This problem is going to be even worse in TKD since there are also age divisions. I don't really want to win if no one shows up. And I don't really want to be best... for my physical gender and my age. That's a personal button. All my life ever accomplishment I had was always modified. "That's great! ... for someone who..." It also doesn't help that I like to avoid anything that is women only. I feel that if you're going to segregate in sports, maybe it should be by height? or strength? (a lot of sports to weight classes, but only after gender segregation) or something that is about the ACTUAL person who is competing, not by the bell curve of a group they've been lumped into.
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I feel I should post an update, because it's been a while an many things have been happening.

My mother finally went home after her 2-weeks-turning-into-9?-months visit ended. She spent the last week with me. When she got here it was still warm enough to kayak on the pond.

TKD turns out to be very good for me. It gives me several of the things I was hoping it would. It seems to be a better workout than taiko ever was and my body is feeling BETTER for it, which isn't usually the case with me and exercise. In specific, my knees are stronger (though still have to be careful), my back is more flexible and my neck is a lot happier. My mother bought me, after much waffling on my part, a water weighted kicking bag. So now I can kick things at home. My 6 months of searching for a school and my 10 years of taiko seem to have prepared me fairly well. So far I have been ready for every available belt test, though I'm definitely less prepared for this belt test than I have been for others. I'm still only doing simple forms, too. There's a blackbelt form that I've already fallen in love with and is the first real desire to get a black belt, just so I can do that poomsae. My Korean sucks, however, so that's been the most difficult part.

I'm still fairly involved in taiko despite having "quit." I've decided to add myself to the group as a "Guest artist" playing shinbue (Japanese flute.) I'm doing most of their non-YA gigs. Which is a great compromise for me, since I still get to perform, without all the stress of being in the group and trying to rebuild it to what I wanted it to be and the physical and hearing stress of drumming. Their building where they practice had some roof damage from the snow, so they've been practicing in a basement for the past few months and classes were suspended. They're back in the building (which has been shored up, but not fixed,) so I hope they get classes going again soon. I came back and guest taught the advance class because they were having some trouble with a line from the song I had last taught. Sadly every time I do drum for one reason or another (YA fill in, teaching) my neck and shoulder already kind of warn that, yes, this is a bad thing.

This makes me sad, because I do miss the awesome community and I miss taiko and I miss traveling everywhere and sharing it with people. TKD does not give me the performing I crave and, even though the people at the dojang are quite nice, doesn't give me the community. That might get a little better once I can attend demo team practices, but from what I've seen from those practices, I'm not getting my hopes up.

So I'm still seeking a new community of people working together to create something. I think I have to abandon any serious attempt at light spinning, because the community sets my teeth a little on edge. The fact that they're insensitive to using the word poi incorrectly and the fact that the stereotype seems to be either crunchy granola or raver. I realize I'm being picky by going by stereotype, but I've already been burned by finding an amazing community and then finding out that I didn't really belong as much as I thought. And since I'm unwilling to spin fire, which seems to be what the "cool" kids do, then I don't think it's the right direction for me. That being said, image poi still rock my world, so I might get them and then maybe learn TKD staff or even use them as nuchaku if I get good enough that I won't risk damaging them. (My TKD school teaches nuchaku as the first weapon.)

I've also been thinking a lot about anti-fatshaming advocacy. There is this very frustrating narrative on the Internet that normal weight == healthy, overweight == not healthy. This makes arguments very frustrating because there is a large part of the population that just believe that your weight is the important thing and you simply cannot be healthy and overweight. It's impossible to discuss anything with them, because in their brain overweight IS a disease. I want to make youtube videos that explain some of my logic, the most important being that fat-shaming, no matter what you believe, doesn't help people get healthy or lose weight. But it's such a rats nest of belligerent people, I'm not sure if I'll find the courage, especially since when I think I have a nice solid argument, even among my friends, I often find out I wasn't as clear as I thought I was. My brain and language have a weird relationship.

I'm still working on my harp. I keep getting delayed by various things, but I want to work up enough material for an open mic.

P.S. My birthmonth was weird for a bunch of reasons, including that I am now older than my dad ever was, but the party surprised me. So many amazing people showed up and I felt very lucky. It was likely one of the best birthmonth parties I've had.
forgotten_aria: (nicki window)
I feel like such a bag of excuses at TKD because of my knees and wrists (luckily my back and neck haven't really factored into it and my shoulder has bugged me, but not enough to really change anything) but the truth is TKD is actually bothering my knees less than just flat out running was and my pushup bars mostly make the wrists mute (I tried doing wheelbarrows with them... wasn't quite possible.) i would say I wish that I'd been doing this when I was young, but my knees have bothered me since I was 18 and mentally I wasn't ready. I am a little envious of people who really did have a time in their life when their body was their friend.

CWTKD

Oct. 20th, 2014 10:32 pm
forgotten_aria: (chun li kick)
I took a trial class with CWTKD tonight.

First, this place has the best pricing structure likely that I can find anywhere, but they're a 35-40 minute drive (one way) for me. But... the classes are much longer.

The biggest problem is I could feel that this dojang was very focused one training for the sport of Taekwondo. I can't tell you what the difference was, but I could feel that something was missing and I'm afraid it might be the mental component which is my main reason for seeking a martial art, rather than just a Zumba class or alike.

That being said, their focs on the sport meant that they were teaching the current form change and were a lot more focused on breaking down a good form, which was good. I do feel a little likethe last place, even beyond the aggressive and punitive pricing structure also kind of didn't give me as much focus on getting it perfect, more just getting it good enough, but that might have been good for my confidence and my ability to be in the moment, rather than focusing on too many details and being to in my head.

There were also two things that were bad for me personally. The warm up was long enough and tricky enough that I went past the "this is fun" into that feeling where I start to hate exercise. The second is that they pushed a button from grade school. They would clap encouragingly for the last few people to finish a warm up exercise and then gave high fives. In grade school when we would have to run the mile, everyone would have to wait for me to finish and would cheer for me. They meant well, but mostly it just made me feel like my inability was in the spot light, and I hated it. I'm not sure if this colored my perception of the rest of the class or not.

They also say that they're more than a school, they're a community. I couldn't get a enough of a feel from one class (especially since I'm always super nervous first time in a new place) if I would fit in the community. They all have ties to MIT and other colleges, so theoretically it should be "my people." But I already feel like I stepped in it and I'm not sure if I want a community or not.

So it's not a complete win. I'm almost thinking of trying the 3 months of classes just because they are so affordable and one class really isn't enough to get a good feel for a school, as I've found out. Part of me wants to find a good school and stick with it, rather than going into this being pretty sure I won't continue, so I have a lot of very mixed feelings.

EDIT: for one of the exercises we were paired up and had to give each other piggie back rides. I felt so sorry for the guy I was paired with. A new way to feel ashamed of my weight.

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