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Sorry for the delay in posting. Although in between, "real," jobs, I've been busy with all the fall outdoor projects we have to do in Maine in preparation for the soon-to-come snow.

I've also been hitting the gym a bit more and added a new challenge...Karate.

So, the gym is three days a week; Body Combat class, RPM class and an hour with the trainer. Karate is two nights a week.

Tonight was the first full contact kumite night that we had in the dojo and as a white belt, I knew that it would be difficult, but as crazy as it sounds, I wanted to know what it's like to get hit. In the regular class, there is Kumite monthly, but this extra session is for folks that want to go a bit harder, with strikes to the head allowed.

Only knowing some basic moves, and those not as polished as I want them to be, I was pretty scared. I'm not as young as I used to be and I wondered how the recent work at the gym would help me.

Kicks and fists were coming at me. All I knew is that I had to try and remember some basics and block what I could and take the hits that I couldn't. I also figured I needed to be aggressive and not wait to get whacked. This worked pretty well with all of us giving and taking it pretty equally. There didn't seem to be enough air in the dojo to breathe after the second pairing.

Then Sensei Apsega paired up with me. I knew I was going to get hit. And hit I was. After a good blow to my face, Sensei said, "That's what you wanted to get out of the class, right?" I told him it was worth every single penny-and it was. Of course, that wasn't the last hit. There were more and a good kick to the inside of the left knee. I wanted to give up, my lungs were on fire and I just kept telling myself to keep my hands up. I listened to myself some of the time. ;-)

We continued to pair up until we just didn't have anything left. It was an amazing educational and physical experience. I've been doing cardio, but I obviously need to do more! I'm going to try and hit the gym tomorrow.

For those interested in Karate, you can visit the website of our Dojo here in Maine.

A big thank you to my son, John for his help with instruction recently. He has three years in the dojo and his dedication and attention to detail never cease to amaze me and make me proud.

Alright everyone, enough reading about me getting whacked. Get out there, move and get fit! :-)

Cheers! John

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