My brain and my body are having a communication breakdown. It is 9:15 a.m. and I’m in the Stott Center. Currently I’m in a position reminiscent of a game of Twister, and sweat is dripping off my nose. The instructor walks by and taps my left leg. Somehow, my body understands this command and rotates accordingly. I am pleased- for the moment.

The class is Budokon, which I discovered while searching through the course catalog last spring. There was no accompanying description, so I Googled it and came up with, “The Budokon physical practice draws upon ancient and modern yogic and martial arts styles.” As a past practitioner of Tae Kwon Do and a current student of yoga, I was intrigued. I had no idea what I was getting into. In my mind, I was still 17 years old and able to do 100 push-ups at a time and execute perfect spin kicks. I went into my first class with this attitude and came out with a bruised self-image. I decided that the only way I was going to get through a whole term of this class was to adjust my attitude and be receptive to what the experience had to teach me about myself. As a returning student, this approach to learning has served me well.

I’m commanded to get into position to practice front kicks. I am looking directly into my own eyes in the mirror. I see that my kicks are slow and sloppy and not at all how I remember them being 10 years ago. I try harder. This doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’m getting frustrated and a bit angry with myself, and then I remember to let go. ‘It will come back,’ I tell myself. ‘The important thing is that you’re here and you’re trying.’

What have your classes at PSU taught you about yourself?

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