I did break the board, but the kick was so ugly that I immediately turned and gave an apologetic look to my instructor. He said, "It's ok, we’ll work on it."

It's ironic because this was during applause and someone yelling, "wooooo!" It was most likely my friend, but hey, I'll take what I can get. These demonstration things are mostly for them, anyway.

I was feeling anxious all morning, but I suppose that's what happens when you become less confident in your own ability.

After that, I decided to try trail running, rather than my standard hiking. I haven't yet replaced my second generation dino-pod, but it still works, and I just held it in one hand, rather than try to attach it to something that it would either pull-off or just detach from.

I was a little concerned that something might happen to it because it is still in good shape and works well. It will likely be an antique someday, and running through the woods is not exactly the safest thing to do in the world (for people or electronics).

I never trained in running, and everything else I do, I have had instruction, so I feel weird just going and doing something. I've realized that's part of the appeal of trail running, besides lowering the chances of being hit by a car, is that it's not quite as public and my potential awkwardness won't be witnessed by the whole world.

I had no idea how much harder it is. I've run on flat surfaces (although, not in a long time) and I do a lot of hiking. I thought it would be the same as hiking, only faster.

There is a loop in a state park that I'm familiar with. I've never timed myself hiking and I didn't time myself running, so I don't even know if I got around it faster. I do know that I was sore the rest of the day and that I went to sleep around 9:30 last night.

It was the same distance that I've hiked a few times before, which is much shorter than many other hikes I've been on, but I feel more worked out. I wonder why running uses more energy? Is it the springing?

I didn't feel like I was hopping along or unbalanced. I tried not to waste any extra energy on any unnecessary movements.

I was just reading about form, and it sounds as if I already naturally have decent running form.

Ever since I was a kid, I've thought about efficiency while running. It's because I hated it. I didn't want to waste extra energy on something I didn't like, so I'd try to be as easy as possible on myself.

I was an extremely un-athletic kid growing up. To me, any physical education was mandatory torture between classes. Yesterday, while I was running, the action itself was easy. I didn't feel awkward, and I didn't feel tortured. I felt like someone who is accustomed to using her body.

Running on a trail isn't all that amazing, but I was amazed that this is something that I would choose to do in my spare time.

I marveled at how different that is from the kid who was consistently picked last and didn't care that she was. Heck, she was glad because there was no pretense of ability or desire to chase a ball around a gym.

I thought about what a shame it was that when I was in school, gym teachers weren't teachers, they were coaches, who favored the athletic kids and scorned the bookish ones.

They never attempted to open up the world of athleticism to kids who didn't understand it. My lack of athleticism wasn't because I was truly awkward, it was because I was never shown the value of it.

I have been in two very different places, but it's been a long time, too. I don't think I would have ever imagined it, as a kid, though.

I thought about the progression. It began with a little bit of aerobics in high school to lose weight, then continuation of that in college and some dance classes.

After college, I was tired of aerobics (and I felt that I was at a plateau), so I switched to yoga and started karate.

I enjoyed karate so much that I trained for hours. I also showed a lot of natural ability and my instructor was eager to put me in competition. Then I started training for even more hours.

Shortly after my last competition, my divorce started, and I ran out of competitive steam. I moved to PA, and stopped karate altogether for about 6 months, but spent nearly every evening at the Y. Exercise was the only familiar thing I had left.

When I went back, I was picky about instructors. Since then, every one I've had has pushed me a little bit beyond the extent of my ability. When I ended up with one that didn't, I would find someone who would.

I had to shop around about a year ago because my previous instructor retired. I don't know if I wrote about that. I probably did and then deleted it.

Imagine all the kids in this county who have been cheated out of a real physical education. Well, when you get right down to it, most of us have been cheated out of a standard education, as well, so I won't get into it.

This morning, I was a little stiff, but now, most of the creekiness has left my joints, and I feel pretty good. I don't know if I'll keep running or not, especially once the weather changes.

I may have grown out of my hatred for physical activity, but not my hatred for cold.

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Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007 at 10:20 AM