Friday, November 11, 2005

Karate memories: Falling asleep at my belt test

I was going for my green belt ( 7th kyu). We had a 3 day seminar happening with Testing on Saturday. Our dojo was running a little concession stand to help raise money to support the students. On Friday night, we had sold out of all the homemade baking that was provided.

I went home after training, near 9:30 pm, and started baking. Muffins, cakes, cookies, brownies.. the oven had continual things going in, or coming out of it. Time marched on too quickly, and it was already 4 am when I stood there looking over a table full of baking with satisfaction. Sure.. I realized that this was the night before my belt test, but as a mother of 7 children, I have had more than plenty of "white nights" wherein I didn't sleep all night, and I was still able to cope the next day. How could this be any different?

The next morning I happilly brought in my baking to help supply the table, and then went to the gym to warm up. I didn't feel at all tired, just the excitement of being able to participate in this event. I enjoyed the seminar class with full energy.

It came time for testing. I was pretty happy with how I was coping with my lack of sleep. I forgot that there is a long, quiet time when the students are being lined up in order of their name, and rank. We sat there silent, and not moving.. I fought the sleepy blanket of calmness that took over my mind, and body, but the voices of the various Sensei melded into a warm mutter, and my eyelids drooped, then my head drooped. One of my dojo friends was sitting next to me, she nudged my arm to wake me up with the shocked words "Are you falling asleep????? Now? Ten minutes before you test?" The looks of shock, and awe surrounded me. Almost like their faces were teleprompters, they broadcasted the message "How can she not be nervous at a time like this? How can she fall asleep?"

I still smile at the memory of this moment. I will make sure that I get a good night's sleep before my Shodan test, if I have to have my husband smack me with a 2 by 4 to get that result.

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