He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Performance Anxiety

You're probably sniggering, but I can assure you that I don't mean it that way.

In about half an hour, I'm going training again. Last night, I went running. Same again the day before. It was training the day before that. The continuous physical activity over the last couple months has had many effects. Whilst fitter, this morning I felt so knackered that it was more of a struggle than ever to get out of bed. I don't think I was awake properly until midday.

You could ask, "why do this?". A very good question indeed. The simplest answer would be that I'm supposed to be grading on Saturday November 4th, but actually it's not that simple, so I'll elaborate further.

This time, I'm grading for my blue belt. If it were just a question of doing the necessary techniques, it's possible I could scrape a pass, but it's not. Fitness is important - there's no point in being able to do a few throws if after thirty seconds of self-defence you need a defibrillator to help keep going. And to be honest, I probably wasn't far from needing one last time. Remember, time is relative - and I've invested a lot of time in this, probably about 8 days of my annual leave entitlement has been used to ensure I get my Tuesday nights off.

No, there's more to it than that. It's actually a question of honour.

Before you think I've gone all turned clichétastic, I'll qualify that statement further. My grading will not just take place before my instructor, but before my instructor's instructor. He is a thoroughly nice chap, but compassion and niceness don't come into a grading. Things must be done well. Thus, we have two reasons for doing a good job, namely the reputation of our club, combined with the fact that I do not want my performance to appear as a bad reflection on the instructing capabilities of my own Sensei. It must go well. One does not come all the way from Italy to watch a damp squib.

= Performance anxiety. It's two weeks away and I'm nervous already.
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