Well I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. First my son and I took our Tae Kwon Do black belt grading, and I’m extremely pleased to say we both passed. The actual grading itself wasn’t as stressful as the pre-grading, which was longer and far more strenuous (or at least it felt that way). Now for anyone who’s ever contemplated taking up a martial art, I’d strongly recommend that you do so. I love attending the classes and it’s a great way to keep fit. I guess the biggest hurdle is actually getting up the courage to attend that first class.
You expect everyone is going to be an expert and you’re going to end up looking a fool, or worse, end up with broken bones and black eyes, but everyone you’ll see started the same way. They were all complete beginners at one time. And if you can overcome that initial fear, you could end up enjoying it as much as I do. I’m far from being the best in the world at it, but that doesn’t matter. I give it my all every time I go, and as well as helping keep you fit, it helps you make new friends, helps with flexibility, core strength, self esteem and self confidence, which is worth the price of admission alone. So what are you waiting for? Chop chop.
While training for my black belt grading, I was also exercising for my first race, Hell up North www.hellrunner.co.uk which I participated in at the weekend. I’ve only been running for about a year, and most of that was on flat roads, so I was more than a little nervous about competing in a race that comprised trail running up hills, through rivers and mud. And you have to remember that at 47 years of age, I’m no longer a spring chicken, but I do feel fitter than I ever have.
So as for the actual race itself, I loved every minute of it (okay, perhaps there were a few doubts when I was standing up to my waist in water for 20 minutes or more, stuck in a queue of people and it felt as though by balls were going to drop off). I completed the near 12 mile course in 3 hours 7 minutes. I’m guessing my time would have been around 2 ½ hours if I hadn’t had got caught up in the queues, but I guess with thousands of participants, it was only to be expected.
I’m now running again in next weekend’s JCB Mud Run, but I’ve already registered for Hell in the Middle next February. Hopefully I’ll beat my previous time. Bring it on ...
As for writing, I hadn’t done any for ages with all the training I’d been doing, but I’ve now started again, so hopefully I’ll have something to report on that front soon. But here’s a short interview I did recently: http://thegingernutcase.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/interview-five-minutes-with-shaun.html
Now back to my training ...