Since I shared a story about spin class this week, and since my springboard diving class is one of my most popular stories, I thought I might share a new story this week about a class that I had the same semester as my springboard diving class. I took karate.
Every Friday we would meet for two hours. And as with spring board diving, I sucked at karate from the very beginning. Our instructor was a Korean fellow who spoke English with a very thick accent. He loved to show the class tricks and stunts and his sense of humor combined with physical antics reminded me a little of Jackie Chan.
One day, I went to class after donating blood. Donating blood had never caused any problems for me before, so I had no reason to believe that my physical performance would be hindered by my loss of blood. To warm up, the instructor brought us through a review of all the kicks we'd learned---ten kicks in all, and we had to do ten reps of each kick, all in succession. In case you can't do the math, that's one hundred kicks all in a row.
I was wearing down at about 50, but I kept on going, kicking more and more weakly as I continued. Although I technically made it to one hundred, I believe my hundredth kick was not more than two inches off the ground.
Then our instructor had us relax and breathe. And that's when something funny happened. I could feel the blood draining from my head, and my vision started to go black. Recognizing this as something that can happen when I get up suddenly from a couch or bed, I waited for my vision to return immediately as it always does.
Except it didn't. I realized that I was standing in the middle of all my karate peers with my eyes wide open, and yet I could see nothing.
Before this point, I'd been debating whether or not it was a good idea to go to the edge of the classroom and sit down. At this point, once I'd lost my vision, finding my way to the edge of the room was no longer an option. So I just sat exactly where I'd been standing.
I could hear the instructor's voice distantly. It was as if I was under water. I was aware of him approaching me. "Are you okay?" he asked. I managed to say "No" before he flipped my legs up in the air so that the blood could drain back to my head. As soon as he did it, my vision started to come back. He send me to the wall.
And I spent the rest of the class with my butt to the wall, legs in the air, relishing both my vision and the blood in my brain.
Before this time, it had been a joke amongst our classmates that our instructor didn't recognize any of us. From that day on, however, he recognized me. As we'd do kicks, he'd approach me, asking, "Dizzy? Dizzy?" One time later in the semester, we had a departmental visitor to the class, and I saw my instructor pointing me out and saying, "She faint! She faint!"