Taekwondo training has calmed down a bit since we got the news of our black belts. It's not as stressful and has gone back to being silly and fun. We play with the nun chucks and jump ropes and stuff a lot more. We goof around with jumping and running. Again, it feels like I'm playing rather than exercising. I love this.
However, physically it seems to have gotten a bit more demanding. We're doing a lot more kick combinations that involve this fast spinning motion which hurts a bit when you don't land it just right. We've been doing more kicks with running starts and more repetitions before landing. We did some practice with using a kick to turn midair and push off the person/body-bag you just kicked. It's fun and looks all spiffy cool when you do it right, but it's tough.
Samantha's had a minor injury since just before belt testing, but it seems to get worse and better depending on the day. And with my encounters with allergies and sunburn, we've been trading off sick moments occasionally. Sa Beom Nim has taken to adding the admonition "아프지마! Don't get sick!" along with his regular (and ritualized) closings to our practice. It's a little silly.
Last week I was walking out of the restaurant where I'd been eating dinner when an adorable, familiar-looking boy shouts, "Oh Diana! 안녕하세요? Hello."
Used to kids I don't teach from Oedae shouting their greetings to me all the time, I responded in English, "Hello. How are you?"
He looks really confused. And a little hurt. "저를 기억해요? Do you remember me?" It's then I notice the An Il t-shirt (same one I wore to the Lantern Festival) and realize he's one of the boys who tested with me, and that I spoke Korean with him, which is why he's now nattering on in Korean with me.
"물론--안일 태권도! 어떻게 지내세요? Of course--An Il Taekwondo! How have you been?"
"나도. Me, too."
"검은띠 땄어요? Did you get your black belt?"
"축하축하! Congrats!" He offers up his fist for a punching high five, which I happily give.
"3품 땄어요? Did you get your third poom [poom is a red/black belt they give to students under age 14, as opposed to dan which is for adults--I'm now first dan.]?"
Again he looks insulted. "저는 지금 단이에요! I'm a dan now!"
"그래? 미안해. 축하축하! Really? Sorry. Congrats!" He beams.
"잘 가요! Goodbye!"
"네, 잘가! 화이팅! Goodbye! Fighting [a usual greeting/cheer/etc. in taekwondo here]!"
A short conversation, but I felt so happy to be able to have it with him. I'll keep working on this language. One day I'll be able to communicate well in it. One day...