It was lucky, then, that last night was my first karate class of 2009. I started attending early in 2002, so I've been at it for seven long years now. Seven years is supposed to be how long it takes to reach black belt, but I am still three gradings away from that honour. This makes me slightly depressed, though I know that not everyone is equally skilled or dedicated and we all develop at our own pace. Black belt by 2012? Well, maybe.
I came away rather stoked that I had sparred with the notorious Sensei Nick and he only once swept my feet out from under me and got me on the floor, despite several attempts. I kid myself that I stood up to him well, though I am aware that he could pulverise me one-handed if he felt like it.
We trained so hard that when I got home and was having a shower I actually, for just a few seconds, ran the water cold.