Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving Up

I got the opportunity this week to try my speed through for time.  I did it once, sucking wind pretty much the whole time.  It was really tough from a fitness point of view.  I only hesitated a couple of times.  I made a couple mistakes.  I learned that if you miss eight holds, the test is stopped.  That didn't happen for me.

After the attempt, my teacher gave me feed back regarding a couple of holds that were either wrong or needed improvement.  I had a drink of water.  I meditated a bit.  I was still breathing hard.  It was really hard work.

Then I was told to do it again.  I have to admit that I had hoped in the back of my mind that I would it on my first timed try, even though that didn't seem reasonable from what I'd seen of those who passed before me.  When I had to start again without even feeling fully recovered, I gave up.  I figured I'd just do it for the experience, but, exhausted as I already was, there seemed no way to go faster.

To make matter that much more exciting, I caught that same toe I injured the night before my half marathon right at the beginning of the second speed through.  It crossed my mind to call it off because it hurt, but it didn't hurt more than it had just over a week before and I ran a half marathon on it then, so I figured I'd just push through.

I finished.  I pretty much collapsed into meditation.  I was so very done in.  I got corrections.  We moved on with class.  I had no idea what my time was.  As the class progressed, I started thinking that I had passed, as the remainder of the class time seemed to be used in testing me, as well.  We did forms, kicks and the like that we're supposed to know.  My teacher asked me questions about the history of the art.  Sure enough, when we got to the talking part at the end, I found out I'd passed.  Apparently, I'd shaved 45 seconds off of my time for the second attempt.  I still don't know what my actual time was.

I was pretty excited that I'd passed on the first day I tried for time.  I guess all the practicing at home paid off.  Thanks, Davan.

When one starts training at this studio, one has no belt at all.  After a while, I'm not sure what the criteria is for this other than showing up to four or so classes, one gets a white belt.

I actually borrowed Davan's for the above pictures.  She tried class for a couple weeks, but it was not her thing.

Once the student has learned about half the Cun Toa holds and can demonstrate that knowledge, one gets a strip - a black strip on the belt.  After learning all the holds, as well as kicks and forms, one gets a second stripe.

After the second stripe comes a white sash.  To earn the white sash, one has to pass the speed through - all the holds in 6 minutes or less.  After that physical part, comes the golden interview.

My golden interview was Wednesday night.  The Goldens are practitioners who are trusted to help govern the school.  The interview can be done by one or more of the Goldens.  Mine happened to be conducted my Saturday morning instructor, which made things more comfortable for me.

He asked me questions, all of which I had some sort of answer for, even if it wasn't complete.  I passed.  Then I had to go to class.  That was a challenge.

First off, we did the promotion ceremony.  I don't have any pictures with the stripes because I never took any at the time and they keep the belt when one ranks up.

The change in this picture is subtle, as it's just a white belt to a white sash.  You can't see the kerchief tied around my left ankle, but that's now a part what I wear.  I took class in this on Wednesday, except for not having the kerchief yet and not having the fringe sewn on my sash.  I did that by hand at home, as is required.  This is the outfit I'll wear to teach in - any time I go to Cun Tao classes, where I'm now considered a teacher and I have a certain number of required teaching hours before I can take my next test.

However, when I train at my new level - Third Phase, I'll now wear this.

Black is much more flattering, so it's good I've moved up.  LOL

Really, though, I have mixed feelings about it.  I've really enjoyed my day time classes and the camaraderie there.  I know, intellectually, that that'll come in my new classes, as well, but the class is much bigger and it's a little daunting.  I also am not really excited about training from 7:30-9:00pm.  I like working out earlier in the day.

Davan made me this card in a jiffy on Thursday morning, when we also had doughnuts to celebrate, although she didn't even know about the doughnuts when she made the card.

Inside she wrote:

Wow Mom!  Congratulations indeed!  I am so impressed with your speedy speed through on the first day you tried it, not to mention your half marathon just a little while ago.  I know you are apprehensive about white sash, but I know that you are really awesome and can handle anything you set your mind to.  Go Mom!


She's got her thumb on my feelings about this whole thing - I love the accomplishment, but don't love what comes next.  I also seem to have sustained a couple of injuries over the course of the test and my first sash class.  There is the toe, which is healing up nicely, but I also injured my right wrist, which was really bad the first night after the test, but is doing much better now.  I seem to have jammed the thumb on my left hand as well.  All of these kind of suck, but aren't big deals and are getting better.  However, I pulled a muscle in my right glut in class, I think, and it's really painful to walk and particularly go up stairs.  Hopefully a long weekend of no running or Poekoelan will put me on the path to recovery and will help improve my mood about the new challenges ahead.


  1. Woohooo! What an awesome accomplishment! I love the support that Davan shows you. It is so sweet. I agree, black is much cooler than white ;) I can't imagine doing this! Hope the next step will be pain free!

  2. OMG...WOW way to go on first try! You will have to show us some of your moves when you come to Colorado.