Last night I attended my first Kung Fu forms class. I was, predictably, very anxious before class. I was feeling it in my stomach. (I have actually had an uneasy stomach quite a lot lately when eating, which is bizarre and probably means I’m dying) We had our family night out before my class which means we went to Golden Valley Pub for dinner. I wasn’t really hungry but knew I needed some fuel before class so I got a spinach salad. I’ve been thinking about ordering that salad again for months. (I always order the nachos or once in a very blue moon I’ll get a veggie burger for a wild change of pace. I don’t like to be disappointed when going out to eat. Once I find something good on a menu at a restaurant I’ll pretty much never try anything new there again.) The last time I got the spinach salad was a total flukish moment of complete madness and it turned out to be really good so I’ve been thinking about doing it again for months.
Most likely, at this point in my dawdling tale, you are either nodding your head vigorously saying things like “Exactly! Why mess with something sure?” or “You are the most reasonable person I’ve ever listened to, go on!” OR you’re feeling really impatient and annoyed at the ridiculousness of anyone taking months to try to work up the guts to order something different, especially when they already know it’s good because they’ve tried it once before.
I ordered the spinach salad and an American Pale Ale. I love spinach. I love Pale Ale. However, this time the spinach salad was a serious disappointment. It was oily without the lemon that’s supposed to be in the vinaigrette (and which I very much enjoyed last time) and the spinach was a little tough and their grilled onions were crunchy (I don’t like food that’s half cooked, either give it to me raw or make sure that when you grill it is isn’t limp AND toothsome). Total fail. Plus my stomach was not feeling well what with all the anxiety about the class. I couldn’t finish the salad.
Sometimes I want to get into the kitchens of restaurants and show them how to do their business. I am not professionally trained but I have often thought that professional training leaves much to be desired. Give me home cooks any day of the week and I’ll have just as good a chance of getting great food as I do from eating out. Maybe I only say that because most of my friends are great cooks.
(I just avoided saying something scathing about cooks who make things like “Snickers salad”)
Wait, that just reminds me that I wanted to ask how it is that so many people have “extra” candy bars just lying around their houses that they feel they need to find ways of using in their cooking. Candy bars only enter my house once a year and they make a swift exit. If you find you constantly have random bags of candy bars lying around exasperating you, I think you should STOP BUYING THEM instead of finding as many ways as possible to pollute otherwise decent wholesome home baked desserts with chopped up Mars bars or whatever kind of candy you “accidentally” put in your shopping carts. When I saw that someone made a “salad” using candy bars, that was just the outside of ENOUGH.
You have probably guessed by now that I will not order the spinach salad ever again. I forgot to mention that the kid was in a turmoil over the fact that we didn’t get a real booth last night. We make reservations and always ask for a booth. This is because we all hate open seating. We got one of their half-booths last night and the kid went into a tailspin of discontent. (I don’t like the half booth either but as I’m a veteran mentally ill person I have learned to cope- mostly- better).
After dinner Philip and Max went to Philip’s office (he wasn’t quite done working) and I walked to Kung Fu. Walking a little before class was great because it released a little bit of my relentless tension. I stretched before class (a really good thing to do since I am constantly injuring myself doing anything physical) and class began.
Forms class is basically doing the horse stance for an hour. If you have ever done the horse stance* for 60 seconds you will appreciate what an hour of it would feel like. Kung Fu forms are amazing! I have watched some of the blackbelts in our school doing them and it’s such a beautiful and graceful set of movements meant to replicate different battle actions. If you’re having trouble imagining what it might look like then think of Tai Chi. It’s not unlike it in a general way though my Kung Fu teacher would certainly jump in here and cut my head off for not being very specific and rattling off the huge differences between them which are not known to me. Forms is exactly what I need right now. You are in a class with other people doing forms but it’s solitary, you don’t work in teams, you don’t get in each other’s faces or touch each other. It’s solitary and inward. It is about intensely focused actions that you practice over and over and over.
I am self conscious about being the only fat person in Kung Fu. I do feel I look ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. I did NOT let this thought permeate my head while I was doing it, it kept coming to me and I kept pushing it aside so that I could breath through the movements. What occurred to me was that if I continue to revise my eating habits during the week and keep working on reigning in the beer habit, and if I were to practice forms a few minutes every day in addition to riding my bicycle to run errands, I might actually make some progress and become less fat. However, there is also high risk of ankle and knee injury so we’ll see how that goes. It felt great to be back on my Kung Fu path. I don’t know how long I’ll need a break from taking the regular classes and I don’t want to worry about it. I really do want to get my black belt and the longer I stay away from the regular classes the longer it will take me.
What’s important right now is to reduce the number of things I’m pushing myself over. I have until I die to earn my black belt. I have until I die to publish a book. I have until I die to grow things and be a good parent. Since the parenting is something I have to work on all the time without breaks, I must give myself breaks in other areas of my life. Because I have to write every day or have my head explode, I choose to push myself with the novel writing. So Kung Fu must be the place where I let myself not push quite so hard. This feels right, and it feels good.
I am so sore today, but in a happy way.
Now I’m going to shower and ride my bicycle to the Saturday market for some produce. Hopefully we will all go picking nettles later today. Maybe I can get my mom to take me back to Grand Island. The nettles will all go to seed soon, if they aren’t already.
Go do something nice for yourself.