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It is my body leaves my love, not I;
My body moves away, but not my mind;
For back to her my struggling fancies fly
Like silken banners borne against the wind.
Imagine my surprise when I log back into AikiWeb years after my last blog entry to find over 2.2 million views to my blog. I still think the AikiWeb counter is broken somehow. I also see some veterans who have not posted for a while admitting that they have not been able to train for a long time. I can relate to all these sentiments—how much it hurts to say goodbye, how you know you can't or won't do aikido again for a while—as last year I also had to leave my dojo. I hung on to my membership for a while, even when I was no longer practicing, the frequency of my training getting less and less due to unpredictable and late-night work schedules. But my main reason for quitting lies on a more personal level, as I have to fix something broken in my body before I can focus on training again.
I stay in shape by going to the ill-attended gym at work. Gym workouts are such solitary affairs, everyone too lost in their own rhythms, routines, and workout music to form a sense of camaraderie. Instead of feeling and feeding off the energy of a training partner, you focus on only your own movements and improvements, or lack thereof. No ki-ai's ring out into the still night, no epiphany from Sensei's words of wisdom, just rote repetition to burn fat and build muscles. When I take out the earbuds a