Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Back to it

It's been an odd couple of weeks. First I was sick and missed class for a week. Then there was Halloween and class was cancelled. AND ballet class on Tuesdays is cancelled for three weeks.

I feel a bit out of it.

I'd been looking forward to getting to class tonight. I don't usually go on Wednesdays, but I did go this time.

When I got upstairs, I was surprised to see Master Hughes. Usually I can tell if he's there by the time I'm on the stairs. But he wasn't teaching. When I got there, he was talking with June, and as I came near, I heard him say that his mom had passed away.

He had told me earlier that she'd been ill, and that she seemed to be getting ready to die. Still, even if one knows it's going to happen, it's hard. I stayed and offered my condolences; he left soon after that.

After he left, I began to watch out for my friend Katharine and her son, 12-year-old Roan, who'd visited an all-belts class earlier. They appeared, and I introduced Roan around again, lining up near him to keep an eye on him and help him follow along.

Justin led the class today and he did well, despite the odd feeling in the dojang. People seemed either still hyped about the Halloween party (the young teens were pretty wound up) or a bit out of it from the news about our teacher's loss. But we stretched (nice warm night for it), worked on forms, and sparred.

Besides working on combination kicking with Roan, I got to spar Aimee and Jim, two opponents I enjoy working with (against?). Very challenging opponents. I also endured a good deal of kidding from Brian throughout the entire class and afterwards; I suppose he's making up for the classes I've missed plus the classes he's missed! Not a problem though; I can take it AND dish it out. Too bad we didn't get a chance to spar each other. My kicks were pretty high tonight.

We ended class with some running races. First we divided up by height (Justin: "Everyone taller than Jane, that side. Everyone shorter than Jane, this side"). I was with the children, needless to say, along with Aimee (shorter than I am), and Heidi (same height as I am).

The races were lively and slightly chaotic, with plenty of drama. Brian A. ended his (victorious) heat by diving into a front roll across the stage. ("Go Dad! Go Dad!" yelled Michelle.) Stephanie showed off her track abilities by winning for the "small people" side (she is probably just 1/4 inch shorter than I am.) Kevin proved that long legs make fast runners. There was laughter and cheering. Perhaps this is what we needed this evening.

At the end, a group of us Tae Kwon Do Moms and Dads--June and me, Brian A. and Brian--locked up because Justin had to go early. It was nice to have a few moments of cameraderie before we left.

I'll be glad for everything to settle down to normal, but with Master Hughes's loss and his upcoming trip to Costa Rica ("I think I'm still going," he told me), it might be a while. Still, it's mighty good to get back together with everyone. As important as our teacher and his qi are to our school, it's the qi of the students--our communal qi and our individual qi--that really keep things going, and that keeps me coming back.

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