I started taekwondo last Thursday night.
I weigh 300 pounds.
Really, that should be the end of the post, and y’all should ideally be lying on the floor in fits of laughter that might actually cause you to have a small stroke, requiring a minimal hospital stay but no permanent damage to any speech patterns or facial muscles.
But I’m going to keep telling the story.
I walk in to a room approximately the size of a bathroom in a really small Wal-Mart. In this room are about 50 people, most of them 5 year olds who are busy kicking the dog crap out of each other in a sparring ring. Behind them are parents yelling things like, “HIT HIM, TOMMY! HIT HIM! HIT HIM!
They were a classy bunch.
I pay for my lessons and am issued a uniform.
Well, half of a uniform. You see, I’m still too fat for a top. So I’m given a pair of pants that would have made MC Hammer jealous, and…
…a 12 foot long belt that is as white as the driven snow.
12 feet long, y’all. 12 feet. I know because I measured it. All I’m sayin is, that belt could probably be helping with the oil spill in some way.
Go dip that belt in the gulf, bring it back to me, I now have a black belt AND some of the oil is out of the ocean! That’s win, win folks.
So I get out on the mat and very quickly become reacquainted with my toes. Stretching. So much stretching. Everyone is yelling and saying “YES SIR!” to this 15 year old kid yelling back at us in a voice that I’m sure he borrowed from Michael Clarke Duncan, telling us there needed to be more yes sirs. Then he moved on to knuckle push-ups, and I decided I really hated him.
Finally, the group of experienced kids (yes, I’m in a teenage class. Put the phone down, Chris Hansen, it’s legit) moved on to the sparring ring, and left me all alone with a 10 year old ginger kid. (phone. down.) This kid reminded me of the little boy from Calvin and Hobbes, only Calvin would have totally whipped this kid’s butt.
The instructor starts yelling at us to do stuff, mostly punching and kicking. Since this is exactly how I throw a fit when The Missus doesn’t give me my way, I was pretty good at it. The whole time, she’s yelling at us to yell when we throw a punch or kick, which I don’t really understand. I thought she was saying “KIA!” so at first it kind of went like this.
Me: ?? *clumsy punch
Me: Spectra! *okay punch
Me: Optima! *really in a groove punch
Me: Sorento! *this punch had the force of a Sorento driven at 50 MPH into a brick wall
We finally got it lined out when she explained that I didn’t have to yell out car models, all I had to do was make a noise. Apparently, when you strike someone, if you yell a lot, it scares them, causing them to run away and call their mother. Cussing and farting don’t count as noises though, so I was a tad disappointed, because I’m really good at both of those while doing any kind of strenuous exercise.
I DESTROYED this little kid when it came to yelling, y’all. He didn’t even know what to do. He just stared at me, and I’m pretty sure my yelling made him cry a little bit and he looked over at his mom a lot. Guess the instructor was right. I’m also pretty sure I could have taken him in a fight, and I was wicked upset that I didn’t get to spar with him.
What? We’re the same color belt! It’s allowed!
We did a few combos, and although I wasn’t given a bow staff or numchucks, I think I did alright. I didn’t split those pants, the belt only fell off twice, and I didn’t hear anyone laughing about the fat guy out on the mat scaring the piss out of a 10 year old. I think it will get easier, and I think I’ll eventually have a lot of fun with it.
The taekwondo, y’all. Not the ginger kid.
*Editor’s note: Last night was my second night, and the ginger kid showed back up, so I guess I didn’t scare him off. It was MUCH easier, and I totally learned how to do a proper knife chop to the throat with a spinning knife chop turn. I’m like E. Honda, y’all!