Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting Busted

Confession time: I've been avoiding testing for my next level belt in kickboxing. Why? Well, I've had it in my head that I wanted to be able to complete 10 pushups without having to rest in between each one. After each class, the instructor gives out a "stripe" (which is a piece of electrical tape) that gets wrapped around the belt. After so many are obtained, the belt holder tests for the next belt. So, in order to avoid testing, I have managed to disappear before picking up stripes by sneaking out of class. I was supposed to attend 24 classes before testing for my next belt. I've attended 50 as of this morning. Here's where the "busted" part comes in.
Image found here
As I enter the facility, Chris (instructor) states, "So, you're testing today, right?"

I respond with, "No," as a slight smile eeks through (I can't help it - I'm a horrible liar and really hate keeping things from anyone).

"You tested last month, right?" Chris asks.

"Um, no," I utter quietly.

"Oh, you're testing today then," is the response that comes out of instructor Chris' mouth. "How many stripes do you have?"

"Sixteen," I say. It's not a lie... I just haven't been getting the stripes.

"I want to see your belt," he retorts.

"But, I don't have it with me today. I forgot it at home."

His response, "Oh, you are going to test today."

"But, I'm not ready. We can talk about it after class," I seem to be pleading. "Look, I'm not trying to mess with you or the system, but I just want to be able to do proper pushups."

Chris walks away. I know he's upset, but it's not like I'm cheating to get ahead... I just want to know that I am properly doing what is being asked of me. We go through a 30 minute "warm up" after which he asks all belt testers to come to the front of the class. I do not go to the front of the class. Chris tells one of the other instructors that I am testing. I repeatedly state that I am not. I don't want to be stubborn, but seriously, I just want to do things properly before being rewarded with another level.

Everyone partners up, and we start off with pushups. I do about 35 (I lost count due to the reason about to be explained), as the official testers are getting through however many reps they need to do for their next level. As I'm doing the pushups, Chris comes over to stand beside me.

"I don't understand what you're expecting from yourself? You're already doing pushups better than most of the class," he says.

"I just want to be able to come back up straight... I just can't do that," is my reply.

He responds with, "You're doing them just fine. I'd really like you to test." He walks away.

We move on to other items. Static wall sits, medicine ball jump squats, and situps are next. Chris comes over to do the sit ups with me.

"I really wish you'd just test. You've already done more than what is required for this belt," he says.

I am quiet. What can I really say? I know they're not what I'm expecting, but that doesn't seem to matter to him...And why does he want me to test so badly anyway?

At some point, Chris comes over to me and says that I have been to 50 classes. In my mind I know exactly how many I've been to, but I can see the surprise/disappointment on his face. It's almost as though he's angry/hurt, and I guess I can't really blame him. It wasn't about that though in my mind. I simply wanted to be able to prove to myself that I could do proper pushups - properly.

He finally states that he'll respect my wishes, but he really thinks I should just move up to the next level. I think I'm out of the woods as he walks away again. The group continues on to the end of class at which point we sit with our eyes shut, legs crossed, trying to catch our breath again.

"I can feel you there," I say suddenly, knowing that Chris has sat down next to me.

"I know." He whispers, trying not to disturb others around us. "I really wish you'd let me give you the next belt. You've done the work, and you're an inspiration to so many people here. You have plenty of time to work on whatever you think is wrong with the pushups. It's not as though you're never going to do them again."

Really? This is how he's going to get me? {sigh} I'm a sucker for guilt, I suppose. I don't feel like an inspiration, nor do I feel worthy of the next belt, but he's gone to so much work just to get me to take the thing that now I feel bad.

"Fine. You can give me the belt," finally comes out of my mouth.

"Really?" He asks.

"Yes." I respond.

And with that, somehow I was not only busted, but moved into the next belt level. I guess I'm no longer flying under the radar. Somehow, I think Monday's class will be quite painful for me when he dishes out revenge. {sigh} I suppose I had it coming.

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