Last weekend I dropped my wife off at the airport so she could begin her adventure to Ecuador for the month. It was one of those periods of both excitement and sadness, which culminated in a happy dance and ended with a long hug. We made it awkward for everyone else at the airport.
Then, she sends me photos like this the very next morning.
So, I have the feeling that she’s going to be just fine.
However, if we rewind a week, we were in Philly for AmeriKick. It was a gigantic blur of a weekend that ended on some incredibly positive notes. So, let’s jump right into it!
On Thursday, we signed a lease on a new apartment in Madison, then zoomed home so I could go to class, and then I sprinted to the dojo and was there until about 9:30 p.m. From there, we went back home, packed, drove to Kenosha, passed out for a few hours, and were up at 4:30 a.m. to make it to Chicago. From there, we charged all over O’Hare and attempted to drink enough coffee to find an altered plane of existence. We didn’t do it, but we sure did give it the ol’ college try.
As soon as we landed, we were off again. We found the venue and tracked down various individuals. I dropped all my stuff off in Sensei Sharkey’s room and we walked to the tournament. For the next four or five hours, we were cranking through various tasks. I was taking photos…
… while my wife live streamed a fair amount of the events on Friday night. So, if you happened to be watching anything at all, it might have been her!
It was an exhausting day that ended with a minor adventure to our airbnb. Which was…interesting.
Saturday was daytime eliminations. I won’t bore you with long passages about forms and how they looked/felt/went. I’ll just attach videos instead!
The forms came and went. That’s not the cool part – it was the progress I’d made since Chicago. A few months ago I had competed with the same people and felt completely outclassed. It was a humbling reminder that I have far to go and that the path is always changing.
At AmeriKick Internationals I placed fifth in Korean and Japanese, and eighth in Weapons. It’s by no means a superb showing, but I’m miles ahead of where I was two months ago. The hard work, training, and focus on the basics is starting to pay off, and that’s exciting! There’s a lot of work left, but it’s nice to know I am making steps in the right direction.
Before I left for the tournament I was training with Sensei Sharkey and we were talking about my goals – Top 5 was one of them.
I achieved it, barely, in two divisions.
Now we reset the goals.
The rest of Saturday was a blur. After I was done competing, we got cheesesteaks and headed back to the event to photograph and do whatever else was needed.
Sunday we explored Philly. And we got some work done!
In retrospect, Philly was a mad sprint of a trip and we felt like we barely had no time to breathe, but throughout the whole experience we were laughing and having fun with life. Be it figuring out where exactly our room was or talking in accents for the evening, we made the trip something spectacular. This trip was good for my karate. I learned tons and made great contacts. But it was also phenomenal for my relationship. And, really, that’s the most important part of all!