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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 11:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 780,014

In General Patience is a Virtue Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #67 New 11-23-2003 11:57 PM
...that I do not possess.

I tried contacting Jon prior to leaving for the dojo to confirm that we were meeting to train at either 4 or 4:30 and when I didn't hear back, Julie and I joked about how I was getting all antsy. It sounded like back when you had that crush on a cute guy in Junior High and he wasn't returning your calls. Only this time, the crush was on Aikido.

So I make it down to the dojo before 4, and no one's around. I climb up and hunt around in all the usual hiding places for the spare key but none is to be found. So I figure I'll sit outside the dojo, read my Plato's Republic, and give the guys 'til 4:30. If they don't show up by then, I'm breaking in.

At 4:30, I get up, dust myself off and gear myself up to have a go at the grate which senior students had shimmied through in the past when they were locked out. Its happened enough times that the grate is no longer screwed into the door properly from the outside, but is held only by two loose screws from the inside --- the top screw is actually held in place by a makeshift nut of duct tape.

Pulling the grate off was the easy part. What I had completely forgotten about was that cardboard in a manila envelope was duct-taped from the inside to deter anyone from coming in through the grate. To a certain extent, it worked. Because as I felt against the cardboard and paper and found --- much to my disappointment --- that it was quite solid and secure, I thought to myself that there was no way I was getting through without breaking it. And I figured that if they had gone through all of this trouble to making this precaution to keep folks out, I was pretty sure they wouldn't be happy if I broke it just so that I could practice my ukemi.

So I go back and climb up again to search all the hiding places for the spare key just in case I missed it the first time, but come up emptyhanded a second time. In desperation, I run downstairs to see if I can use the phone in one of the offices, so I knock on all the doors, but they're locked, and no one seems to be around. I walk out into the parking lot, and there's not a car in sight. I'm stranded there with no method of communication, and I figured that if I tried to leave to make a phone call elsewhere (the nearest place being a ways away), someone might come by to the dojo while I'm gone, and might leave thinking that no one showed.

Okay, so back to the drawing-board. Plan A was a flop. Plan B? Well, at this point, I'm willing to try just about anything that doesn't involve breaking the cardboard. Hmm...so I figured I could always try picking the lock...so I dug into my bag to see what I could possibly pick it with and came up with the pin from a button and a hair clip. I tried both with no luck whatsoever. And it always looks so easy on TV. Sigh. I check my watch and it's nearly 10 minutes to 5.

I think to myself, "Okay, I'll give them to 5 and if no one shows, I'm definitely going in" because come hell or high water, I'm not going to just leave after waiting a whole hour without doing *something*. I had even spent my last bus ticket just to get out there. So I plunk myself down by the door again, resume reading my book, munch on some grapes, and bang my head against the wall a few times.

5 'o clock rolls by. I undo the grate again and stick my fingers in between the door and the cardboard as far as I can to see how secure it is. I'm still hesitant, but figure that if I had something hard and flat to pry with, it would help. I glance down the hall and spy a plastic doorstop, which I grab and use to pry into the cardboard. After some doing, I feel a bit of give, and hear a bit of a ripping sound, which I freak out a little at. I stick my hand in and feel that the duct tape is slowly giving way, and with a bit more prying by my fingers, I'm finally able to reach open air. It's labourous, but after a couple of minutes, I'm able to separate the rest of the tape at the bottom from the door, as well as the sides and I can actually see into the dojo! Hooray!

I take my hiking boots off and awkwardly squeeze myself through the grate, which is still suspended from above and hits me from behind. I manage to, after getting stuck halfway (my sweater caught on the bottom screw), work my way onto the mats. At this point, I'm covered in sawdust and slivers of wood, but I bow to the Shomen, bow off the mats, and unlock the door from inside. I get changed into my dogi and am finally able to buckle down to some training, albeit alone.

Maybe I'm a little obsessed...is that a bad thing?

In describing these exploits to Dave and Julie, we joke that Jon better start treating me well because how often is he going to find a student dedicated enough to be willing to commit B&E just to train?
Views: 926 | Comments: 1

RSS Feed 1 Responses to "Patience is a Virtue"
#1 09-16-2008 11:41 PM
jducusin Says:
Finally converted this post from private considering the old dojo no longer exists and was torn down some months ago to form a runway, of all things.

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