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 Thursday, January 13

The boards done broke. I have a cute little knot as a souvenir, the size of a bonbon, which fell out of one of my boards when I broke it. The boards were awful, shitty knotty pine at Macassar Ebony prices. Of course we aren't allowed to just get a big pile of wood at a lumberyard, oh no, we have to pay $45 a box for the Officially Sanctioned wood. It's a total racket, and we all know it. The new high cost is going to keep a lot of people, including me, from doing the board breaking as often as we maybe should. Truth to tell, the knots and holes didn't really affect the breaks all that much, honestly. But still, 45 bucks is just outrageous.

I had nothing to prove and really didn't want to get hurt, so I took it easy. I think this is the way to go: get the technique down so I can break them painlessly and FEARLESSLY, and work my way up in boards to the levels I have to reach for my eventual black belt test. One of the two black belt candidates was trying tonight, and completely psyched herself out. I wonder if she'll withdraw from testing after tonight. I wish she'd just tried breaking one or two boards to build her confidence up; she was trying for black belt levels and getting more and more frustrated and discouraged, and probably hurting herself pretty badly as the class went on. It was just awful to watch it happen, and I hope she can patch her poor raggedy self confidence back together in these next two weeks.

I'm really going to try to do this often enough, and get the technique down well enough, that the fear doesn't have so many places to creep in. I only hurt myself on one break, and it's one that blew my whole hand up before, so I know I have to learn that one properly and keep it from growing into a huge monster in my subconscious. I did most of the breaks just fine, and breaking two boards isn't much harder than breaking one when the technique is there. I'll have to do three boards with most of the breaks for my eventual test, and I think I'll try that next time, at least on the breaks I know I have pretty strong. I'm not trying to impress anybody; I'll keep doing my weaker breaks on one board until I'm good and ready. I've only got one small body part that's all lumpy right now and that's fine with me. Once it heals I'll practice on my leftover boards and be good and ready for next time.

I think I know this: it's more about conquering the fear than it is about technique, BUT if your technique isn't there, it HURTS and that feeds the fear. On the other hand, if you're scared, your technique won't be there. So I want to make sure that cycle never gets a chance to take hold. I want this to be a part of the test I don't have to worry about, to have it be a formality.

11:26 PM

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