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Something I have found fun and useful in several areas of life (music, riding, and now Aikido) is to commit to doing or participating in something, and then figure out how to make it happen. For instance, I might commit to being at a weekend horse camping event. Then I have to get after making sure my truck and trailer are ready to go, get my horse used to loading in the trailer, etc. I don't wait until I'm ready, and then commit. I commit, and then use that commitment as a reason to get off my butt and get ready.
I recently signed up for a 3-day riding clinic in March. I've done virtually nothing with Rainy (my horse) for months. So having a date in early spring when we have to be capable of participating in clinic (plus having the truck and trailer current on maintenance, etc.) is a good goal. I've promised to be there, and paid in full. Time to start getting ready.
Now just this past week I have signed up for the Aikido Bridge Friendship Seminar (http://aikidobridge.com/). It's in mid-January. I figured with 3 months to work on everything in general, and to get in better shape, I should be OK to participate in a 4-day seminar without dropping dead. I just need to put in some extra time, focus during class. It's a killer opportunity, but it's just a seminar. No biggie.
And then the videos I ordered arrived, of the same seminar from past years. Uh oh. Mind you, I just did my 6th kyu exam. Nevermind "beginner's mind," I have beginner's everything. The video shows about 50 yudansha and about 2 mudansha, really going at it. On tatami mats (read: not very forgiving at all). LOL I really am going to die now. I can see the headline: "Local Woman Dies of Humilation and Bruises"
I'm kidding. I really am looking forward to it, and very excited about participating. But dang I'm glad I have 3 months! Getting my rolls and falls as soft as possible is one thing I'll really be focusing on. If I start getting sore there I'll get tense and guarded/defensive, and that won't help anything. And luckily I'll have a few weeks in November where I can really step up my training, from my usual 2 days a week to nearly every day. And I've been slacking off a little on stretching, strengthening, and icing. No more of that. Back at it.
As with any of these things I commit to doing, it's great motivation for doing whatever it takes to get prepared. This looks a little deeper than the deep ends I'm used to jumping in, but I can swim even in deep water.