Mental Beat Down

Training-wise, this semester hasn’t been so good. My bad knee has been bothering me since week 2 after I slipped during one of those crazy jumps in Short Rods. Sometimes my knee clicks and feels achy and weak after a hard training session. I’m being careful, but it means taking it easy and not building the leg strength and speed that I want. I got sick for a week and took a huge step back in terms of endurance, power generation, speed, and having the feeling. It’s been frustrating to say the least.

P1010271We did a demo for the Humboldt County Chinese School in Eureka. I coached Quentin and Piper who, with no prior experience, put together a pretty decent lion dance routine in one month. We also did group kicks and while there’s a noticeable improvement from our first practice, but we’re still so far behind from where we should be. Sometimes I feel I’m too old and injured to get much better.

We did a short demo for the visitors and the next day, Dr. Yang expressed his sadness over our performances. I wasn’t the only one criticized, but he specifically said that at this stage, I should have more spirit and sense of enemy. Otherwise, I’m just dancing and I might as well train outside the Retreat Center. We can’t just perform sequences beautifully, we have to understand how to use the techniques. It wasn’t exactly a shock. As I was performing San Cai Jian, I knew it sucked. I can’t visualize an opponent when I feel the disconnect in my body and the power isn’t coming out.

It’s Dr. Yang’s job as a teacher to criticize and light a fire under us, otherwise he wouldn’t be a good teacher. It means he cares. Some people seem to handle it well and carry on. (Or maybe they don’t and deal with it in private.) I started this blog to be open about my experiences so I’m stating that I didn’t handle it well. I’m never satisfied with my training and I take it pretty hard when my teacher says he’s disappointed in me. I don’t want to be here and waste his time or mine. I don’t know. Getting corrections is one thing, but making my teacher sad hits me in the stomach. I feel like I’m failing.

What do I do? I feel the need to take out some media/writing time to train more, but I’m also not sure how my body would handle extra training and reduced recovery time. Our training schedule is set up so that we build a foundation in the basics and go from there. Other students say we should keep doing what we’re doing and it just takes time to progress. I don’t know, maybe they’re right, but I can’t listen to my teacher say he’s disappointed and then carry on like things are fine. It’s one of those moments I’ll never forget. I guess instead of adding more training time, I can train with more intensity and focus.

I meant to be objective in what was said and I don’t know what others are feeling. I’m just trying to be open about my own thoughts.

A lot has been going on and the next post will be positive. I just wanted to get this out to keep it real.