Just Call Me George

February 26, 2013

I just finished a “nice post” about what it was like going to the karate tournament I competed in last Saturday, but this was what it was actually like in my lunatic brain.

It all started when I unzipped my suit bag to find my “white” gi was actually kind of yellowish and had ring around the collar similar to that of a bad 80’s Tide commercial. What the hell happened? I do wash my gis after all, but this one had sat untouched for 5 years or so. I only wear it to graduations and special karate events, like the tournament I was going to IN FIVE DAMN MINUTES. There was not much I could do about it, so I put it on and left. I squeezed between my filthy van and my husband’s less than squeaky clean car (sorry home builders, that is not a two car garage unless those two cars are built by Fisher Price or Playmobile). I did manage to keep my yellowish gi from any further insult though. Phew!

I finally arrived at my destination and even found parking in the building. I followed the signs of where to go and ended up… outside the building?
Me: “Excuse me, sir. Can you tell me where the entrance to the Hamilton Convention Centre is?”
Sir: “Go in the doors you just came out of.”
Me (to the group of people that followed me from the elevator because they thought I knew where I was going because of my uniform even though I told them I didn’t): “See?” *shrugs in an “I told you so” kind of way*

I was so happy to see a face I knew. My coach was sitting at the registration desk. He gave me a wristband and a small card. I put on the wristband and tucked the card into my bra. What? there are no pockets in a gi.
Me: “What is the card for?”
Coach: “You need to give it to the judges before you compete.”
Me in my mind: “Don’t lose card, Don’t lose card.” *touches boob*

Okay, I was in. There were crushes of people in this giant room and so much going on. I was so afraid of not hearing my category called that I just stood there beside the announcer listening. But then of course, my bladder decided it was high time for some shenanigans. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom, what if I missed the announcement? But if I didn’t go there was a significant possibility of me having a very memorable and humiliating performance. So I did my best Usain Bolt impersonation and booked it to the ladies room. There I was squatting (because public restrooms, ew) and I heard garbled announcer man. What? What did he say? I tied up my pants, washed my hands (hygiene trumps karate), grabbed my boob to confirm the card was still in place, and ran back only to find out that the waiting game was still on.

Finally, it was time. The ladies I was competing against handed in their cards and there was roll call.
Judge: “Amy” looking right at me.
Me: “Nope”
Judge: “You are not Amy?”
Me: “Uhhh, no”
Judge: “Williams?”
Me: “Yes.”
Judge: “But not Amy?”
Me: “No”
Judge: “How about I call you George?”
Me: “Ok.” I like this guy.

I was randomly picked to go first, because OF COURSE I WAS. I got through my routine without cursing, stumbling, or falling, which was in fact my ultimate goal. I bowed out of the ring then stood on the sidelines buzzing.

Then I went home to clean my gi, eat pizza with the kids, and celebrate my son’s 7th birthday. The end.

It’s on!

February 26, 2013

This past weekend I did what any good mother would do and left my birthday boy at home while I went off alone to compete in a karate tournament. I would feel bad about this if he had desperately wanted me to stay and build his giant Lego Millennium Falcon spaceship with him, but he didn’t, so I don’t.

This was a big tournament. There were around 800 competitors and hundreds of spectators. The fact that I chose this event to compete in revealed to me that I not only have some semblance of self confidence, I also have a deluded masochistic streak in me. Of the hundreds of competitors, there were a total of five ladies in my category. Five. That makes me just a little sad because black belt ladies 35 and older should be out there kicking each other’s asses. And by ass kicking I mean supporting each other and applying that wee bit of competitive pressure needed to perform at your best. I think all the ladies that I met last weekend were there for reasons similar to mine. I was there to prove to myself that I could perform under pressure, learn from martial artists that are more skilled, and be entertained by watching athletes compete in my favourite sport. I got all that and more. I met some super cool, nice 35 and over ladies. One quipped “It’s on!” when it came out that we were performing the same kata. She wasn’t being a jerk or smack talkin’, she was pushing me to do my best and letting me know she would do her best to beat me. I respect that. So, did I do my best? No, but it was really close and I’m happy with how I handled myself. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

P.S. I came in 2nd.