So, I talk myself into going to a karate tournament.
Of course I haven't been to a karate tournament for over twenty years. I'm in what the AAU calls the "executive" category (just like T-Nation has an over thirty-five lifter category, the AAU has an over thirty-five competitor category).
They put me in novice kata (up to purple belt) as I know only one solid Wado Ryu kata, and I end up in the "intermediate" sparring division (below black belt). They ask me if I mind being combined in, and I figure, its ok, I'm there to learn rather than to win.
Before the tournament, my wife's only advice had been "avoid the really tall guys."
So, does an almost seven foot tall brown belt (half brown, half black belt, whatever that means) count as "really tall?"
Someone I gave a ride to the tournament said when she saw the match start she thought "very bad things are going to happen to Mr. Marsh."
I won the division either 2 or 2 1/2 points to a half point in that final match (I wasn't keeping score and I've been told both, I only know I was up). Now I almost collapsed while taking my gear off as I ran out of juice getting ready for the division bow out and medals, I had really given it my all, but I won novice kata (I know, not a big thing) and intermediate (below black belt) sparring.
My wife worked a hard 24 shift, so she missed the tournament, but she laughed when she heard that I had not been able to avoid the really tall guys.