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Yesterday evening I worked with the beginners class ( I'm but a beginner my self…) and had a grand times. Admittedly the experience was tinged with anxiety. I don't like people watching me, but being Uke for Sensei leaves little or no room for modesty. Overall the experience was very good. I realized just how much I rush through techniques right now. I guess its natural to rush when working with those who are senior to you, always trying to keep up, yet always falling behind. I learned some things about how I communicate with others. I hope that I didn't confuse those folks too much, and I hope I helped in some small way. I noticed the "Gi" effect. If they didn't look to Sensei , they came to me. Intimidating, but a lesson that needed to be learned. Even beginners like me can offer something to other beginners. I had forgotten what those first baby steps were like. Seeing it through the eyes of others made me remember just how scary it is to be on the mat for the first time. I feel that in my journey so far, I've traveled countless miles. I was not afraid to be touched, I did no flinch or back away. Through working with those less experienced the me, I finally see the bridge of trust that has to coincide between Nage and Uke, and just how important. When I first started I was so wrapped up in my fear , that there was no trust between me and my partner.
Yet , two and half months later I stepped up to fresh faces and blended in a way that didn't seem foreign or scary. I understood that they could hurt me, unintentionally, but through moving slowly and maintaining the physical and mental contact that is so much a part of Aikido, I was at peace. I no longer feel that I am so far behind my peers, merely walking my own path, which happens to be a little longer then I expected. I had to smile when one of the guys asked me how many years I had been practicing. Flattering, embarrassing, but not wholly unwelcome. Perhaps I'm not so cluttered as I had though.
There are still no answers for the pain which plagues me. More and more it gets harder to move around. Testing has provided no answers, and yet more searching yields almost nothing but more empty questions. I feel at times that I am slipping away, the most simply things being almost impossible for me at times. I hurt constantly. The only time the pain seems to fade is during Aikido. I try to listen to my body , but I'm not quite sure what it is trying to tell me
… I am scared. Truly frightened of what this could mean in the coming months, and the years of my life. Arthritis , Lupus, Osteoporosis. My doctors tell me that they cannot find anything, yet there is something truly wrong.
Daily life is not what it used to be. I spend a lot of time meditating , working on my tolerance exercises and stretching-- trying to keep this pain and stiffness from overtaking me. I feel like I'm losing ground, slowly, while I wait for the medical world for questions and possibly answers. More and more I am forced to look within, and evaluate my spiritual and mental wellness. Depression creeps near, lurking and waiting. I try to keep my spirits up. Despite all the proactive things I do, I still fail often in my pursuits. During many a Aikido session I lose strength and patience. Sensei says he understands its hard to work as hard as we do when our joints are sore, but in some one I don't believe he understands the mountains I'm having to climb these last few weeks. Which is not to say he is at fault, nor my training partners. I don't know..
My path is lonely right now.
I feel isolated.
I feel as though there is no one who understands.
I feel fear wrapping tighter around my heart as I fight against this oppressive… thing which has decided to call my body is refuge.
In my heart of hearts, I know that pushing on with Aikido is something I must do. It is a part of the healing process while I fight against time. I only hope that I can reach a beneficial midway. I do not want to be cured, nor to be paralyzed by some nameless malady.
My only wish is to have some quality of life.
To be able to kneel while my god son takes his wobbly steps towards me. I want to be able to keep up with him as he grows.
To be able to dance again, and run like I used to.
And ultimately to be free of this stalking shadow that is trying to rob me of everything which defines who I am.