Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bad to the Bone

One thing about me is that I'm dedicated once I commit to something.  Or as Mr. Helen says, like a Pit Bull that won't let go (do not email me pit bull people!).  It's true, and I think it comes from being raised that when you start something you finish it.  Growing up we were never allowed to stop "mid" anything.  Even if we were miserable in the chosen activity we had to finish out the season.

That same character trait makes me love a schedule.  Give me routine and I thrive.  All that flying by the seat of my pants stuff?  Even though it was one of my goals for 2010 to get better at it (and I think I did), I still don't love it and prefer schedules, routines and rules.

The last two weeks have been horrible for me and my schedule and I think that's why I keep feeling like going to bed and not getting up until January 3rd might be a good thing.  Between the stupid aching hip and the dojo closing I'm feeling all out of sorts and completely off my schedule. 

I am also learning that I have some self esteem issues tied into my activities.  Which actually might be physiological too now that I think about how many endorphins are released when we exercise.  Running has been a perfect activity for me because I really have never loved competition against others.  I'll never be elite so I only run against myself.  Sometimes I set PRs, sometimes I have terrible periods when nothing I do makes me run well.  Still, I stick to it and there is satisfaction in that.

Recently in Muay Thai they have introduced sparring.  Even though we have all the protective gear, I didn't even like the idea of it, much less actually doing it.  Until, one day, I moved really fast and managed to get an offensive jab past Mr. Helen's defense.  He's such a good cheerleader (and besides if he really wanted to he could kick my butt) that he immediately made the biggest deal out of it.  Kept saying I was bad to the bone.  I sort of liked that.  Then I realized that if I keep to my Muay Thai schedule and follow the rules, I will get better and better.  So while I still have around two years to Black Belt, I am pretty proud that I didn't give it up when they were introducing things I didn't like very much.

Last Wednesday, in the midst of the most hectic Christmas week EVER, I tested for blue belt in Muay Thai. We had people from white belt to green testing.  The sensei gives you combinations and other things to do and then watches to see if you are doing things correctly for the level you are at.  Mr. Helen said it was fun to see beginners to advanced students because he could really see the progression students make. It was great having him there to cheer for me but he is not the best photographer (he blames the camera).  Nonetheless, here are some fuzzy photos of the event, with my facial expressions proving that indeed, I AM bad to the bone!


Switching Knee followed the jab cross
Evidently, I did it correctly because
 the Sensei is about to give me a high five.

Upper Cut Punches

Squat while the Sensei walks around the room and leans on you.  You are supposed to be able to keep your arms up and your squat intact.
See him there in the background?

Squat on the wall while your partner hooks their feet around your ankles and does crunches.
If it's being done correctly, the wall sitter doesn't fall.

Roundhouse!  Almost textbook perfect!

Blue Belt!
I love the mirror image of this photo.


  1. Helen, that is so awesome! I wish I could have been there to see that. You and Mr Helen have lethal weapons in those arms and legs. WOW! That is really impressive.

    I sure hope that hip pain goes away soon. :(

    So the dojo is only closed for the holidays, right? They didn't shut the doors or anything.

  2. Hey I know that place...except not lately!! Ack! Awesome photos Helen...and yeah, you just keep getting better and better!

  3. That is so cool - and you sure do look bad to the bone! :D

  4. In my, I change that: I am RIGHT about this - Roundhouse=TOTALLY bad to the bone! I seriously wouldn't mess with you, Helen! Congrats on your blue belt; you've certainly earned it.

  5. I love the Roundhouse pic, Bad to the bone. You look so cute in a pony tail.
    Please tell Mr. Helen thank you for the pix, would have liked the "camera" to have taken less blurry pix, but he still rocks in my book.

  6. All I could think of when I saw the picture of your Sensei leaning on the "squatter" was "Is his name Brad?"

    Really awesome pictures and I'm glad you pointed out the mirror one - love the smile on your face in the reflection as you receive your blue belt! You are, indeed, Bad to the Bone (thanks for putting that song in my head, lol) and I hope we never become enemies because you will kick my ass nine ways to Sunday!

  7. Congrats Helen - you should be very proud of yourself. Love the pictures.

  8. I am so proud of you Helen!! I love the round house - that is text book! Way to kick butt, and remind me never to cross you because you'd kick my ass! :D

  9. I can't even lift my leg off the floor. I'm jealous.

  10. Wow, great stuff. Totally love the roundhouse kick. And your grin, :) Awesome!

  11. Read this earlier, didn't have time to comment. Just a fly-by to say Congrats!

  12. Of course I left singing the bad to the bone song :) Great pics!!!

  13. You.are.amazing. Love the pics!! so motivating, thank you I needed this!!

  14. I love that mirror image as well. I can see you smiling in it.
    Congratulations on your blue belt. It is motivating to do what is hard.

  15. Great photo's, to me it's great to see what Muay Thai is about. You look great!

    I'm like you I don't like competition with others. Although I do participate in races I run these for me, for my own PR's, not for winning or racing against someone.

    And without a schedule my workout plans just disappear, I just don't do it if I have "too much freedom" so I make my schedules and try to stick to it as much as possible.

  16. That roundhouse kick is AWESOME.