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This has been a very busy running-full-out kind of week at work. For some it's been a pretty rough time. Everyone was quite ready to get started on the weekend this afternoon. For me it's been mostly fun - the kind of work I enjoy, just lots of it, on tight deadlines. My body has had enough of sitting at a desk and using a trackball, even though I did get out for a quick walk at lunch. My brain could use a cooling-off period, too. Thankfully, I got to a good stopping point, and even entered my time for the week, before shooting out the door at 5:00.
I managed to pop a temporary crown off a molar today. At 5:10 p.m. On a Friday. While driving in heavy traffic. On my way to the dojo. That's always the best time for that sort of thing, you know. D'oh! Naturally I just stuck it back on, smooshed it down real good, and went on to class. Now I'm being very, very careful when I eat. Great.
Tonight's class was a lovely respite from the madness. (I just looked up "respite" on Dictionary.com to be sure I am using it correctly. I am. "a delay or cessation for a time, esp. of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief.") I got there early enough for plenty of warming up and stretching, and for the meditation period. When class started we did a lot of very soft rolling exercises, and then one putting each other into a forward roll, and being aware of where the connection and center was. Lots of attentiveness to keeping alignment and integrity. It was a pretty meditative, mindful sort of class.
In spite of all that, it was physically a difficult class. My left upper-back/shoulder have hurt for 2 weeks, so rolling on that side (well, for the first 10 or so times each day), or breathing deeply, both feel a little like I've gotten the wind knocked out of me. Before class even started my left hip and right knee were unhappy (sitting for meditation didn't help). To warm up before class I started to jump up and down a few times, and my ankle immediately hurt. One partner missed my arm doing ikkyo, and poked me right between the eyes. I almost got stepped on about 4 times, but the key word there is "almost." Since actually getting stepped on twice this month (once on each foot) I've been more careful about that, and got my feet out of the way this time. And I have a few new bruises. No real harm done (although my knee worries me a bit - it's an ongoing thing). Hooray for Arnica gel and ice packs.
There were a couple of techniques that I and my partner were both not feeling real good about yet when we had to stop practicing during class (shomen-uchi ikkyo, omote and ura), so we stayed after for a few minutes to work on them (and on katate-dori shihonage). I'm learning to be very happy with "better." We definitely got them "better."
I've been noticing the same thing in class, that I may not have a whole technique down, but I get some aspect of it right, or even if it's not perfect, the overall thing flows a little more smoothly. Trending in the right direction is a good thing. I'll take it.
Class ended on a more-contemplative-than-usual note, with Sensei reminding us that Aikido is not about attacking and defending, not me and you, but about the shared energy between partners. Good thoughts to take us into the weekend.