Thursday, August 2, 2007

Gumba Frank

Last night, my wife, 14-year-old daughter and I went out to dinner--a rare treat for me, because I get home usually around 7:15 and they've had dinner by then. My martial arts school is next door to the restaurant, and it felt so good to see several of my fellow students and my Original Sensei as I walked past--big smiles, waves.

The restaurant is part-owned by Gumba Frank, a black belt at my school. Gumba Frank is maybe a year older than me, and is the strongest grandfather on the planet--I've seen him crank out 100 perfect pushups in a row. "He's got that gumba strength," my Original Sensei said about him once. He lifts weights, and I know at one point he was also taking boxing classes.

I saw him at the restaurant, sitting with his parents--he was sticking out of a booth into an aisle, so I bumped into him and said, "Hey, buddy, you're blocking things here." He turned with this incredulous look, then recognized me and smiled. He introduced me to his folks--he looks like his dad--and we talked about how the old guys have to get back to class to whip the young punks into shape.

On walking out of the restaurant, a class was going on, and my family looked in the window. My daughter wanted to see the black belt girl in class my son think is cute. We saw Gumba Frank, The Family That Fights Together and other classmates being taught by my New Sensei and practicing ducking under a jab. A few of them saw us and waved.

I can't wait to get back. Maybe the doc next week will tell me it's time to return.

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