Mistake 1: Thinking I could miss training and still learn. Mistake 2: Stepping back on the wrong leg during one step attack.. during my kyu test (doh!) Mistake 3: Thinking that I could ignore my bum knee. (ouch!) Sensei was showing me how to do Kokutsu Dachi (back stance) correctly for Heian Yondan. The kata opens with two stances that are SLOW which means if you don't do it right it looks pretty darn sucky. And I'm still not doing it right. I mirrored his movements and BANG my knee yelled at me... we no likey... Frustrated, angry, embarassed and in pain, my eyes start welling up.. Great.. just cry like a girl... go on.. be a big wimp. Way to go. I really do think that 90% of this is psychological. This has hurt in the past.. so I believe it will hurt again. I pulled myself together and took my test. I don't know if I passed.. but at least I tried damn hard. Maybe too hard.. maybe that is why I made mistake #2. The other 10% is that my quads need some help. I've been reading Stumptuous.com and Mistress Krista (ok.. that gives me a cheap thrill.. but that is what she calls herself) has convinced me that I need to try free weights. I've tried the machines.. like twice... and lets face it. 1. I'm already at the gym three days a week for karate (or I should be .. and if I'm not it's because I'm either lazy or can't make it for some reason) 2. The machines are boring and mindless and isolate muscle groups. This seems inefficient to me. I just requested The New Rules of Lifting for Women from the local library. I can pick it up tonight I think. There is supposed to be a routine in there that is efficient and something I might be able to do at home.. I won't have a barbell, but that's okay.. I'll start small. It seems like the squat is the way to go for .. well pretty much everything.. so I tried to squat with no weights the other day... darn near fell on my face. So I commented on Krista's blog for a little advice. She sent me to this link on "lurning to squat good" Looks like there are some great tips in there! As soon as my knee starts behaving again, I'm going for it.