(BRANDON HANSEN/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
Your body has a funny way of reminding you that you’ve made terrible life decisions.
With Bradley Taekwondo’s Spring Tournament happening this weekend, I decided I would give one of their classes a try and write about the experience. Surely, with my routine of occasionally hopping on an exercise bike, I would be able to handle it.
But the first signs of trouble popped up during the stretching period of class. After doing something called a pretzel stretch, I had the strangest and most alarming sensation in my hamstrings. It wasn’t so much they got pulled or strained beyond capacity. It was something along the lines of “WHOAH, you haven’t used me in a while and now you’re expecting me to do this?”
[Think of it like trying to coax a house cat to come to you when you call its name.]
The Bradley’s instructors, both black belt students were top notch, explaining techniques, providing pointers and giving great feedback. I wheezed, nearly heaved and sweated my way through an adult class. [Yes actual wheezing.]
My belt rank was Vaagen Bros.’ safety yellow long-sleeved t-shirt because I wanted to be visible in case of an accident. I’m really glad I didn’t have to wear one of those TKD uniforms because they looked heavy and hot. Through an hour-long class, I had to take several water breaks because apparently instead of coffee, soda and coffee… I’m supposed to drink water or something.
I was shown a variety of punches, kicks and even a form. They didn’t let me spar anyone, because who wants to see a ginger get his butt kicked? There is no sport in that. No boards were broken either because I’m pretty sure I hurt my hand on a nice softly-padded bag.
Along with my hamstrings pulling a mutiny on the bounty, there was also my hips that haven’t worked like that since ever. This class convinced me that I will probably need a hip replacement by the time I turn 40.
Hats off to all the Bradley students who can do some pretty amazing things. It’s easy for us adults who sit in an office all day to lose perspective on just how hard it is, but goodness, I was calling for some ice, a trip to the hot tub and perhaps some soothing beverages after the class.
Never send an out-of-shape ginger to do something athletic. Ever. It will end poorly.
But please attend the Bradley’s Taekwondo Spring Tournament this weekend beginning at 11 a.m. If you can support them financially too that would be awesome. It helps give kids in Chewelah something to do. Having done Taekwondo as a kid I can’t begin to describe how much it helped with confidence, discipline, respect and focus through the rest of my life.
Now, if it had only taught me to lay off the potato chips and Mountain Dew while playing Call of Duty. Otherwise I wouldn’t have looked like the Hindenburg in the photo above.