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Well it turns out that I didn’t make it to dinner, but went to gymnastics. Funny thing is I had planned on going to dinner with the wushu peoples, but Kelly talked me out of it. She called as I was on my way to wushu and pointed out that I was supposed to go flip. I tried to come up with a rather lame sounding excuse for skipping gym and going to eat. But it didn’t work too well. If my wife is telling me to go then I better go. Normally she is doing everything to get my time to herself. Of course she did come along and watch (flipping is so much better if you have an audience, especially if that audience is your wife). It was really good. After getting one or two spots on my little combo I was able to pull it off on my own just fine. Carlos did stand there a few times to make sure I was OK, but I was doing fine.

Carlos is a really cool guy. He had asked if I could pick up a sword for him in china, but I was really strapped for space and I knew he would understand if I didn’t bring him back one. So I didn’t. Instead we gave him some chocolate that Kelly got in Vienna. But after talking to him, and having him stay around late in order to help me out (free of charge) I really wish I had gotten one for him. Of course Kelly did offer to give him the one I gave her ‘ but I want her to have it. Plus it is a little too small for him. I may clean up the one I got from Ted and give it to Carlos. It’s a nice sword and only ‘slightly’ used.

I mentioned that I always seemed nervous when I try that roundoff-backhandspring’backtuck pass. Carlos said it was OK, that the adrenaline will make sure that I really get up. I don’t know how much it will really keep me pushing hard and getting higher or if it will just cause me to rush.

I always hate my self for not going for it. Of course this stance of slowly building up and waiting until I am more than ready to nail the trick before actually going for it has kept me injury free (from acute crash related injuries). It is very rare that I won’t land what I am trying to. But as a trade off it takes me a long time to get to that point. I really need the push to help me progress.

This is where someone like Carlos is so vital. First he is the only coach I have ever blindly trusted to spot me ‘ that helps. Plus he will tell me to go and do something such as this r-b-b pass and I will do it. Because he would not be telling me to try if I was not going to make it. There are times I will be thinking as I am running and mid round off that I shouldn’t go for it. This pass will not be good. I have to resist these urges to bail on the trick. I will have some of the strangest internal monologues while I am training. In wushu I always try to think either of recent corrections to make sure I make the changes. ‘Chop, circle, BOTH ARMS IN, and thrust ’ back hand lower.‘ Of course I also will hit those times when I will actually think out loud (in my head) ‘what’s the next move??!?’ If I get to that point I don’t normally figure out the next move.

Gymnastics and other acrobatic tricks are totally different. When I am trying something into the pit or other mats I will either be trying to figure out how to do it or just keep trying with no thought. Once I make the transition to the actual floor — place that I consider much more dangerous — I will go through all sorts of monologue. Sometimes I will pray. Sometimes I will repeat a key correction in my head. ‘Go back, and arms UP!’ Sometimes I will second-guess my self.
When it gets to that point I find having other people around to train with very useful. If I have a training buddy or a coach there telling me what I did or encouraging me to push and improve a lot of the negative thought simply don’t have a chance to occur.

On a side note, my hammies are a little sore. Like slightly strained, near the top of the muscle. I didn’t have any trouble in China during the hardcore training, so I am thinking that it might be my training methods here at home. In particular the warm-up. I need to stretch more in the morning, get back onto the rhythm ‘ and to actually warm up more before wushu. Weather that be running laps around the room or whatever. We did lots of inside laps running in Beijing, it was pretty serious and would slowly build up from a jog to a good sprint. In the middle we would spend a lot of time at a quick jog doing weird skipping and jumping drills, everything from badminton to basketball to TKD stuff. At first I thought it was pretty silly, but now I am crediting it to my well-being. Plus it was fun.