Monday, April 07, 2008

The Grind

It's been a while since I could find the time to write, let alone find anything worth writing about. Work has been fairly all-encompassing for most of the past month, with my time being split about 60% on redesigning and relaunching our corporate website, and 60% on prepping and planning for our corporate presece at a series of trade shows in Las Vegas this month. Yeah, there's an extra 20% in there, which accounts for the 2+ extra hours of work I've been doing each day for the majority of the past 6 weeks. Just got back from a 5-day janut to Vegas for the first show -- slept about 3 hours a night, if that. I just don't sleep well when I'm away from home.

My Tang Soo Do training has taken a hit as a result of all this professional life commitment time. I'm still training as much as I can, but for the first time since I began training 2+ years back "as much as I can" only comes to 3-4 hours a week. Meeting my work commitments means that I need to spend the time I used to train in the AM at my gym at my desk instead, so no extra practice time during the week. Christine is often too busy during the week to attend the afternoon classes that she prefers, so instead she has to attend on Monday and Wednesday night, which in turn prevents me from attending one of those nights since I need to be home with the kids. No classes on Friday, and I'm often too swamped with catching up on honey-do's to train substantially on Sundays.

So, it's pretty much just Tuesday night/Thursday night/Saturday morning these days. Luckily, I'm not even halfway through the 6 month wait before I'm permitted to test for 1st gup and my technique feels pretty solid. With the exception of learning Chil Sung Sahm Rho I'd already more or less committed the other 1st gup level techniques I needed to know months ago -- we're shown them at 3rd gup level, even thought we aren't tested on them for quite a long while after that -- so the lack of time in the dojang hasn't really impacted my forward progress all that much. Mostly I'm just feeling sluggish and unfocused, probably due to the lower levels of physical activity coupled with the higher levels of stress at my workplace.

Happily, this will all settle down nicely in a few weeks. Once I get past the last tradeshow (Interop Las Vegas) in about 4 weeks I'll be able to reset my work schedule and get some balance again. I should finally be able to train alongside my wife in one of the daytime classes by taking a long lunch each Monday (which will have the added bonus of ensuring that we both are at home on Monday night!), and will also be able to hit the gym on Wednesday and Friday mornings to pick up some extra cardio and stretching time along with some opportunity to work in front of a mirror and polish my technique and stances. So, these extra days, coupled with my usual Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday classes and the couple of hours I try to devote to working out with the family and friends on Sunday afternoons, will get me back up to working out every day.

Live eat sleep and breathe Tang Soo Do. I was told that once you become a red belt that's what you need to do in order to be ready to advance. I remember when I first heard that phrase, about 2-3 months after I started training, that it sounded grueling. Like it would require such an act of will to grind myself down and force myself to train harder and harder, to get ready. What's funny, for me, is how hard it is to NOT do those things, to have to focus elsewhere instead of just training, training, training as often as I can.

Mood: Sluggish (still kind of off-tempo from spending last week in Vegas)
Now Playing: Beth Orton, "Superpinkymandy"

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