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Sheer Humiliation

January 8, 2009

I did it again. I humiliated myself not breaking a board. And then I humiliated myself worse by handling it badly.

You know that nightmare where you’ve arrived for a test that you know you haven’t studied for and you’re completely unprepared?  So that was me trying to back kick through a board last Friday.  I had been doing this belt jump camp all week, three hours a day of learning all the curriculum for the next belt.  And it went okay.  My form wasn’t beautiful, but then mine never are. At least all the pieces were there. We did not spend much time on back kicks, and we did one practice board break. When it came time for testing, my board holder held it higher than I had practiced that one time, and I came face to face with the reality that my back kick was pathetic.

I left in tears, and then I went home and wrote a clever parody to vent my feelings about the situation, “Breaking Boards is Hard to Do:”  I was proud of myself for turning to some self-deprecating laughter instead of wallowing in self-pity all afternoon.

Anytime I try to do something coordinated, it’s a very vulnerable thing, especially in public.  When I first submitted my writing to Segullah, that was vulnerable too.  But it was different, because I know words, and even though I hadn’t written since college, I knew I could rewrite and make it work eventually.

But this tae kwon do, I have no residual confidence with it.  I’m paralyzed by it, turned again into a clumsy thirteen year old. The next time I have a “you’re not ready for this test” nightmare, I will be dressed in a white uniform, staring at a board that’s held too high, knowing that everyone watching me expects me to kick through it, and I can’t.

P.S: Here’s the parody.

Breaking Boards is Hard to Do (to the tune of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”)
Don’t bring that board right up to me
Staring at it I’m in misery
Cause I have heard, and so have you
that breaking boards is hard to do.

Remember when I kicked so high?
And I split the board the very first try?
I’m only dreaming; it wasn’t true
Cause breaking boards is hard to do.

They say that breaking boards is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it’s true
Oh, drat, it’s my turn again
Instead of breaking boards
I wish that we were doing forms again.

I beg of you, don’t hold so high
Let me give that board another try.
Were those your fingers? Ouch!
Now you know too
that breaking boards is hard to do.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2009 7:27 am

    that was really funny dear. I hate when I don’t meet my goals. And when I do it in public, I always cry. I hate that too.

  2. January 9, 2009 12:54 am

    you should demand a rewrite (I mean rekick).
    I love your song- the bad part of being an achiever for me is is I am unpracticed at no achieveing and take it too hard

  3. January 10, 2009 10:28 pm

    I bet you’ll get it next time. Recover well and quickly girl!

  4. Emily permalink*
    January 19, 2009 9:53 pm

    Leslie, they gave me a rekick. And then I still didn’t get it. And then… I broke my leg! I break legs, but not boards.

    Thanks for the love, guys.

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