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Many years ago after watching several martial arts movies, and after having a conversation with a friend who was learning Aikido, I realized I wanted to try this. Long story short, my life training in the equestrian world kept me from discovering too much of anything new! Over the span of time I ended up in a Tai Chi class at my local YMCA. I did enjoy that, although my experiences there were cut short due to, well...I'll just leave it at - life. Six months ago my life shifted significantly. Everything that could have changed did change. Having learned the lesson of mind over matter, the possibilities of positive thinking, and the powers in manifestation, I decided to stop making excuses for not living for myself. I got online immediately to find out where some Aikido dojos were in my city. I had found a couple that were near my home. For some reason I kept feeling something encouraging me to visit one dojo in particular.
Upon entering that particular dojo, I was immediately greeted by one of the Sempai. He was smiling, friendly, and eager to welcome me. He took interest, asked me questions, and answered mine as well. He graciously showed me where I could sit to observe class, and then told me much about the dojo. After class I was greeted by the dojo cho. He too asked me questions and in turn answered mine. I already knew I wanted to come back for more!
After observing three classes, I asked if I could join as I had already felt such resonance with what I had seen thus far! So the formalities took place and I was given my dogi so I could attend the next class.
The following day and a half were absolute torture for me as I waited for my first class. I felt this twisting mix of eagerness and nervousness. I suppose the word for it would be anxiety?
Earlier this evening, I finally had my first day on the mats! Thanks to several knee and ankle injuries over the years, seiza was maybe the most difficult part for me! Luckily, Sensei told me I could sit with my legs crossed while I am recovering from my most recent ankle injury. Phew!! While there currently aren't very many women at my dojo, (three others - me being the fourth) one happened to be there tonight! She was well versed in Aikido. Sensei asked if she would help me learn the basics. She has so much patience!!!!! Her demonstrations and explanations were very clear and helpful. She taught me more about some of the basic ettiquette on the mats, stances, movement, principals, rolls, and oodles upon oodles of vocabulary!! Wow!! I feel so blessed to have had such a fantastic first day! Sensei came over to us often to further teach me these basics! I even got to learn the gist of one technique and try it before the end of class!! I feel a shmidge overwhelmed by the wealth of information given to me today, but mostly I feel absolutely alive! The only other thing in life that gives me this kind of "high" is training my horses and students! Who knew?! Aikido has been something I've wanted to learn for so many years... Even after all my anticipation, already on day one, I am finding it is everything I have hoped for and so much more!
So if this is day one, I can only imagine just how much fulfillment I am going to experience over the next years as I keep returning to the mats!