This is a true story!
I woke up last Friday and as I walked into the kitchen, my dad was sitting at the table, reading a book. He looked up at me, smiled, and said,
"Hey Becky, go look in the garage."
Naturally, I was suspicious. My parents don't surprise me often, so I assumed that maybe I had forgotten to clean up a mess I had made (I forget sometimes) and was now expected to do so. I stood my ground, however, and asked why I had to go into the garage.
Of course, Dad just smiled, and said,
It was early and cold. I was still groggy. But when I opened the door, the morning grogginess went away immediately. Or at least quickly.
The garage was clean (that's enough to make my jaw drop, in and of itself) and in the middle of floor were a bunch of puzzle mats, a punching bag, and sparring gear. I was VERY excited about the punching bag. I had been thinking about what it would be like to have one...and then...there it was! I thought I was dreaming and said something like,
"Whoa! Oh my gosh!". It was quite an interesting situation to wake up to. It was like Christmas; like the story of the kid that wanted a cocker-spaniel more than anything and, on Christmas Day, opened the box to find the dog in there.
Okay, maybe that's a little over-dramatic; a punching bag's probably not as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be...but now I have a target to practice on at home. And I also have more of an incentive to focus on specific details and to practice longer, overall. I suppose I shouldn't really NEED incentives, but to be honest, I like having targets. Practicing in the air only gets you so far, after all.
A funny thing that happened as a result of the punching bag's appearance in our garage was the appearance of my dad's long-dormant Taekwondo experience. I somehow got it in my head that since Dad has to survive a two-on-one sparring match (for a police officer certification test), I should help teach him how to fight two people at a time, since I'm starting to get more teaching experience at the Refinery. Well, I soon found out (that very morning, in fact) that Dad doesn't need any help. In fact, he remembers everything about two-on-one sparring from his TKD years. And what's more is that he's much more experienced than I am and is in many ways much more knowledgeable. He's about twenty years out of practice, but he knows what he's doing.1
Needless to say, I felt rather silly when I gave the bag my best roundhouse kick and he said,
"What, that's all you got?".
Anyway, the appearance of this punching bag is like getting a puppy or something. My sister even started to get excited about martial arts again when she saw it. It's funny how much of a change it's causing in our household. Our garage is so full of energy now.
November is the month to give thanks. Tonight I'm thankful for punching bags.
1. I never really thought about it before, but every single one of us has studied martial arts. Mom and Dad studied together until Mom got pregnant with me. And KC, my little sister, is the main reason why I now train at the Refinery. We've all studied. I never before realized that we have that in common. I am still the most obsessed, though. Hands down.