One last thing. I kick ass. - 25 June 2007

Many people would've enjoyed their last weekend in London drinking their memories with friends.
I chose the way of pain. Oh yes folks, I got my black belt.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals Chuck Norris allows

Seconds before the gradingWaking up on Monday morning was more painful than usual. It took my 10 minutes to lift my hurt neck from my bed.
And then, once I rolled over the carpet, it took me 15 more minutes to lift myself up and finally release the nocturnal pressure in the toilet.

Marks on my bodyI walked by the mirror, and stopped for a second. My hips and my arms were full of bruises. And then, I had some flashbacks. I was in a pub, and I drunk a lot, after so many weeks (months maybe).
Another flashback, and there I was: fighting for 10 rounds for my black belt. In my memory, it looked like the kind of fight you experience once you reach the final level of some beat'em up videogame. Well, at least it wasn't rape.

My problem has always been the fact that I watched too many movies. And, if you grew in eighties like me, it's very probably that you can get inspired by such classic as Karate Kid , Kickboxer or Rocky . And Bruce Willis' movies, obviously. And Harrison Ford's. And Phoebe Cates .

Yeah baby I'm hotI'm aware that tomorrow I will leave London, probably forever, but I'm sure I will write some other nostalgic article remembering all my past great experiences and how cool I was in every single situation.

My memory is very selective, and it changes what I remember in a very nice way.

But at the moment I don't really want to. Training for the black belt has given me the chance to postpone all the nostalgic thoughts about me leaving this place after so many years. Now that even this last task is done, I should soon start thinking about what will happen next.
At the moment, my elbows are just stiff to even write what's in my head.

Anyway, my last Sunday in London started in a typical way: it was June, Wimbledon was around the corner, and it was raining.

Gotta fly high
I woke up very relaxed. Unlike my first gradings, I've never been very nervous about it. Actually I don't really get nervous or angry unless I'm playing football. When I proposed to Lindsey she was surprised how cool I was. But hey, back then I thought she knew already what I was going to do, in the afternoon in Richmond Park.

Life without a bicycle sucks. I sold my old wheeled black companion to some guy for a decent sum just the day before. It took me nearly half an hour to walk the distance that separates me from the club, the Martial Fitness in Putney . In the past 4 years I've always cycled there.

A kick I arrived quite early but the grading for less-than-black belts was started already. For some reason (holidays?) not many people were grading, maybe around 20-30. What wasn't changed was the tension, as usually you could feel it and see it in all the familiar (and some new) faces of the guys and girls around.

Most of them (almost all usually) would get the new belt at the of the day anyway, but I guess that nobody want to suck in front of their friends.

Since I've always been a kind of a show-off guy (at least in sports and when I'm really - really - drunk), performing in front of other people has never been a problem. It just gives me a nice edge. And I always look good in the video!
Anna, my new flat mate, was there, with her friend, and you all have to thank him for the pictures!

It was all ready to go.

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