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Janet Rosen
05-01-2016, 06:23 PM
This month's "The Mirror" column was written by Janet Rosen 2016, all rights reserved.
The voice in my left ear says, "I have a column to write and I have nothing to say because I'm barely training and I'm ambivalent."

The voice in my right ear says, "Write about it, dummy."

It was exactly ten years ago, April 2006, that my The Mirror column was titled "Hanging Up My Dogi." It was the right decision at the time, as was the decision to bow back in two years later (and 120 miles away).

This is not 2006.

I am an integral part of a small dojo community I enjoy and am very happy to contribute to. People are thoroughly supportive of my efforts to keep training in whatever manner works for my body. I managed to muster the energy to train for and pass shodan. I'm given the freedom to develop curricula and classes that make use of my strengths and meet the needs of adults with different capacities or priorities in training.

I don't think I'm on one of those training plateaus that can be so frustrating. The training, when I'm participating, is in line with my current interests and where things seem to need to be focused, and each class teaches me something worth learning.

I don't think I'm tired of martial arts. I'm looking forward to a reunion this summer with old budo friends and continue to be excited about cross-pollination with other disciplines to "steal" what I can into my aikido. "My aikido." So yes, it still is that.

Yet I'm also Bone Tired. My day job is incredibly valuable to the community and rewarding to me, but for this introvert it also exacts an energetic price out of proportion to how difficult is actually is. My late middle-aged body wants more rest even though I know it really needs more activity. A couple of new physical issues are cropping up on top of the old ones (by the time this is published, add a shoulder arthroscopy to the list of procedures). None of which should matter.

But it does.

Sitting here at 8 PM in my pajamas sipping tea, I'm beginning to understand why my "All Fall Down!" older students prefer daytime classes and why restaurants offer seniors "early bird specials."
"The Mirror" is written by a roster of women who describe themselves as a disparate bunch of scientists, healers, artists, teachers, and, yes, writers. Over ten years into this collaboration we find we are a bunch of middle-aged yudansha from various parts of the world and styles of aikido. What we share is a lively curiosity about and love for both life and budo, and an inveterate tendency to write about our explorations.

R.A. Robertson
05-22-2016, 06:18 PM
Rest, heal, and be well.

After all, that's what you do for others.

Janet Rosen
05-22-2016, 07:01 PM
Rest, heal, and be well.

After all, that's what you do for others.

Thank you, Ross. <3

zivk
05-23-2016, 04:47 AM
Dear Janet,
I follow your columns for many years.
You've mentioned your "Hanging Up My Dogi" column, and returning to practice afterwards. You should have mentioned your "Aikido and Knee Injury Project", which you've started after hurting your knee. From all these years of reading your work O/L, it seems to me you're a perfect example of a person who knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. I'm positive you'll figure out how to overcome your current difficulties.

Janet Rosen
05-23-2016, 09:28 AM
Dear Janet,
I follow your columns for many years.
You've mentioned your "Hanging Up My Dogi" column, and returning to practice afterwards. You should have mentioned your "Aikido and Knee Injury Project", which you've started after hurting your knee. From all these years of reading your work O/L, it seems to me you're a perfect example of a person who knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. I'm positive you'll figure out how to overcome your current difficulties.

Ziv, thank you so much for your kind words. One puts the writing out here and is never sure who is reading and what difference it might be making.
Yes, my tendency is to figure out how to keep going, over or under or around the obstacle as it were.
In this case my deadline for the column came at a time when I was having one of those "oh crap" moments and it seemed that was worth sharing too....same way I don't mind if my Low Impact Aikido students see me become unbalanced for a moment, or have to process solving a problem they posit....it puts the process of regaining balance into real persective :)
Many thanks for your readership and your taking time to write.

rugwithlegs
05-23-2016, 11:01 AM
Injuries are no fun at all. Good luck to you, and heal well. Many Aikido students have been where you are, or might end up there in the future.

I have the highest respect for your low impact classes.

Janet Rosen
05-23-2016, 07:19 PM
Injuries are no fun at all. Good luck to you, and heal well. Many Aikido students have been where you are, or might end up there in the future.

I have the highest respect for your low impact classes.

Thank you, John. Sipping tea but also planning on suiting up and bowing in for regular adult class tonight. My shoulder isn't cleared yet for real partner training or rolling but at least I can join in for warm ups and weapons kata, and maybe do a little gentle something else depending on what Sensei has planned for this evening.
I love leading the Low Impact and wish more folks were interested in taking that class. We have former students who quit years ago with various bodily "dings" and they just don't see the value if they cannot train at the full intensity they did 15 years ago.

Mary Eastland
05-26-2016, 07:19 AM
Janet said: "I love leading the Low Impact and wish more folks were interested in taking that class. We have former students who quit years ago with various bodily "dings" and they just don't see the value if they cannot train at the full intensity they did 15 years ago."

This is a real challenge: realizing we have worth just by showing up. Not being able to train at full potential is a hurdle because of negative self talk. I found my year in the chair with a bad knee was such a valuable experience: 1st. because it helped me have empathy and 2nd, because it forced me to see that people like having me in class whether I was very athletic or not.

Janet Rosen
05-26-2016, 09:51 PM
Janet said: "I love leading the Low Impact and wish more folks were interested in taking that class. We have former students who quit years ago with various bodily "dings" and they just don't see the value if they cannot train at the full intensity they did 15 years ago."

This is a real challenge: realizing we have worth just by showing up. Not being able to train at full potential is a hurdle because of negative self talk. I found my year in the chair with a bad knee was such a valuable experience: 1st. because it helped me have empathy and 2nd, because it forced me to see that people like having me in class whether I was very athletic or not.

Truth there. I had a few years of negative self talk after my knee surgery. :)

SeiserL
05-28-2016, 06:51 AM
Compliments and appreciation ...
Now 3+ weeks post total hip replacement lets your words resonate ...
Rehab/recovery at 65 is different ..

Janet Rosen
05-28-2016, 03:56 PM
Compliments and appreciation ...
Now 3+ weeks post total hip replacement lets your words resonate ...
Rehab/recovery at 65 is different ..

Indeed it is. Wishing you an uneventful and smooth recovery!!!

heathererandolph
06-02-2016, 11:02 AM
Love the humor! I always say, If I've done my best, that is as good as it can get. It is great you are trying to stay involved. It is great that although you thought you had nothing to write about you found you did. So many students drop out, or find life "gets in the way" and quit. Aikido is not always fun and easy. Any challenge will make you stronger.

Janet Rosen
06-02-2016, 11:33 PM
Love the humor! I always say, If I've done my best, that is as good as it can get. It is great you are trying to stay involved. It is great that although you thought you had nothing to write about you found you did. So many students drop out, or find life "gets in the way" and quit. Aikido is not always fun and easy. Any challenge will make you stronger.

Cheers, Heather! If we stop laughing at our own bad selves, we are in trouble :)