Journal Entry – 3.3.2017

It is 2:32 AM on Friday, March 3rd, 2017.  I woke up around 1 AM most likely due to all the physical activity as well as the wings I ate for dinner yesterday.

I had been thinking for a while about cleaning out the shed and turning it into an office/greenhouse/clubhouse.  Well, I got it cleaned out and yesterday decided to put the wood flooring in.  It is not usual to put wood flooring in a shed but there had been some left over in the garage that had been there when we bought the house.  I thought we should put it to good use so in the shed it went.  I also painted the table and did some other nice touches like put the light cord in a conduit, put a hanging basket in the corner by the window and added some small decoration.  Next on the list is to pick up a small desk, chairs and shelving from a garage sale, estate sale or just plain free on the side of the road.

In making this office/clubhouse/greenhouse I have to say it makes me feel like a kid again:  I just want to spend a lot of time in my clubhouse, maybe even sleep there!  I remember when I was a kid I had a clubhouse above the garage.  There was space there and Mom let us buy particle board to put down in order to make a floor.  We thought it was pretty cool and even slept up there one night.  That was extremely uncomfortable and a bad idea but still a little bit fun.

Once we get the furniture it will be a good place to escape and have some peace once in a while.  For me, the real reason I thought of it is if I were to get a job that required me to be on the phone a lot I’d need a place that was quiet and things are never quiet in this household.  That is really how the whole idea came about and it is turning into something quite magical.

In other news the Fighter’s Cup is this weekend.  I never thought in a million years I’d be participating in a full contact karate tournament at forty years old.  Life takes one in interesting directions and this is certainly an interesting event I’ve come upon entirely by chance.

Here is how it happened:

In looking for a karate dojo I had one main requirement in mind:  that it be a traditional Japanese dojo, taught by a Japanese instructor and teaching  a 100% Japanese style of karate.  There were really only two places that fit the requirements and we chose the one that was closest to us.  As it turned out this was a full contact, kyokushin style dojo which emphasizes physical contact and actual fighting unlike the ubiquitous McDojos found in strip malls everywhere.  Well, this dojo also holds its own annual knockdown tournament of which there are two categories; there is physical knockdown with no pads at all and semi-knockdown where light shin guards and a head protector are worn.  It is not mandatory to participate but for anyone who knows anything about Japanese mentality, yes, you really do need to participate in order to gain respect as well as support the dojo.  It is also stated as a requirement to advance to the higher belts.

And so, here my son and I are in the semi-knockdown competition.  I’ve been turning it over in my mind for a while and have two different types of feelings about it.  The first, is that I’m not very nervous as I did wrestle albeit half a life ago so I know what a tournament setting feels like.  However, the other feeling is I’ve never been punched and kicked extremely hard before.  Yes, we fight in class and it can often hurt but they’re not going 100% trying to stun and knock me down (well, not completely); my opponent on Sunday will.  I’m pretty strong and all the years at the gym will certainly come in handy as I can tighten muscles which will lesson the pain slightly but I also do not have much stamina.

In fighting I’ve found that the punches and kicks are not as severe as running out of energy and having to keep going.  I’m not a very mentally tough person when it comes to exhaustion and having to keep going.  Then again, the match is only two minutes, but it could also be a painful two minutes.

In any case, I intend to win but having never participated before I really do not know what to expect and it could be I lose quickly.  I don’t think that will be the case but without experience I just can’t predict how the match will go.  I need to stop thinking and just go do it.

My son is participating and I think it is good to share in the experience.  It all seems so easy from the sidelines, encouraging your kid to do his best and not to be nervous.  It is quite another thing entirely when you have to do it yourself!

Anyway, all of this reminds me of the friends episode “The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion,” where Monica dates a successful entrepreneur who wants to try his hand at cage fighting and it doesn’t go very well.  And here I am about to participate in a full contact karate match, that although not as severe as cage fighting, isn’t exactly a pillow fight either.

I’m looking forward to writing a post next week on the results.  Will I be writing that I lost quickly, got first place, broke my ribs?  I do not know the answer but I do have confidence and I’m not afraid.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/