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Well, yesterday was my first class back at the dojo after two weeks of living a sedentary lifestyle that included: eating LOTS of food, drinking copious amounts of wine and champagne (Okay, so it was only like 6 glasses over 3 days, but that is a lot for me when I'm lucky if I have a glass a week), playing wii, watching movies, reading and grooming my shih tzu. Monday night I went to bed with a headache only to wake up Tuesday morning feeling absolutely rotten. I decided to go to work anyway. I don't really take sick days (or vacation much for that matter) and I figured that if I made it through the day, then I could use that as ammo to convince my husband that I would be alright going to class. Luckily for me, my headache did lessen through out the day. I got home from work and my husband asked if I was going to class. I told him that I would give it a shot and would sit out if it got too bad.
We arrived at the dojo, changed and then lined up to wait for sensei. My first class back went rather well. I was convinced that I would have lost everything I had learned over the past 10 months, but that wasn't quite the case. I had lost a bit of the connectivity from lack of practice, but I did alright. At one point, sensei came over and asked if I was alright. I told him that I had a really bad headache earlier, but was managing things alright. As long as I kept my headache (and the potential of a migraine coming back) in my conscious thoughts and remembered to take softer ukemi, I would be fine. Sensei used me as uke once for kokyuho. I wasn't really too excited to go up there because sensei usually gives me some umph when he throws me and I wasn't sure how my head would take it. Sensei was a little gentler then normal, but not much. Luckily, whether it was through concentration or just good ukemi, my head didn't hurt at all. Sensei must have remembered my head after because he asked me if I was alright and he didn't use me as uke again the rest of the night. Some things we worked on where kokyuho, iriminage, shihonage, kotegaeshi, sumiotoshi and I think maybe a couple other things. Couldn't tell you what attacks we were working from… but I'm thinking they were katatedori. I can't really remember too much when I have headaches. On the way home, my loving husband let us stop off at the Human Bean so I could get a chai tea. Hot things tend to help my head (even when they don't have caffeine in them). As we drove home, I couldn't help but sip my warm tea and think about all the things that lay ahead of me for 2010. This was going to be a good year for me… I could feel it.
Yesterday I woke up with my head feeling funny, which isn't really abnormal after having a really bad headache or migraine. The day(s) after usually leave me with a foggy feeling in my head and I often feel slightly loopy, like I am on medication or something. Yesterday started off in the weapons class with the bokken. We did some warm up drills, 4 and 8 count cutting exercises (the real name is eluding me at the moment), as well as some tsuburi and then went to basic responses to a shomen cut. Over all, I didn't do too badly. I am much more comfortable with a bokken then I am with a jo, so the monthly change over of weapons was a welcomed change for me. We did a few of the tsuburi from suwariwaza, which was challenging at times, but manageable (though not gracefully).
For the second hour of class, sensei taught. Everything revolved around yokomenuchi attacks. We have been doing these a lot lately and these are on the 4th kyu exam. Coincidence? Maybe, but not likely. We did ikkyo and iriminage from suwariwaza and then moved to tachiwaza techniques, which were: kokyuho, kotegaeshi (2 variations), iriminage, shihonage and we also did this thing where you duck under the attack and enter, which puts you in the position to knee your opponent in the solor plexus or in the groin. I was taking this easy because I did not want to knee a guy in the groin. Once, I was a bit low of my target and I realized that I was not in an ideal location for my male partner. I immediately froze my technique and let him go. I asked if he was okay and he just kind of smiled and said "You were gentle. It's okay." Anyway, I didn't want to temp fate again, so I made sure to get my knee up higher.
Sensei used me for uke a few times tonight, which was nice. I still made a point to try to take softer ukemi (which he has wanted me to do anyway). At one point, my bun came undone, but my hair was still held up in a ponytail. He told me I could fix it, but I didn't want to make him wait, so I just put the extra band on my wrist. Mistake! We were doing kotegaeshi and just about every time I was on the mat he would step on my hair. I wouldn't realize this until I went to roll over on my stomach and realized I was unable to. My hair is constantly getting in the way. While doing shihonage with another student, my bun got stuck between his folded arm and I had to go down to the mat with him so I wouldn't end up bald.
Iaido class went well. We worked on some basic attacks and defensive draws and then went to standing forms. It was nice to do standing forms because my knees are a tad sore from yesterday and doing suwariwaza in the previous classes didn't help them any. Last night before leaving class, me, my husband and sensei were all talking. I was asking him if he had heard from any of the newer students who have been MIA for about a month now. He said he had heard from one, but not from the others. Looks like I may be the only girl in the dojo again. Somehow we got on the topic of fat and my husband told sensei that I thought I was fat. I quickly edited the statement saying "I'm not fat. I'm out of shape." Sensei agreed that I could be in better shape cardiovascularly. I told him that I wasn't so bad a couple months ago, but lately I have been exhausted. He told me that he had noticed the same thing. He then asked me if I was a meat eater and if I was getting enough iron. I told him that I am a meat eater and I am constantly eating. I then told him that I take a multivitamin that supposedly had 100% of my daily iron and my breakfast shakes have supposedly 25% of my daily iron, so I'm getting 125%. I told him that I was going to set up a doctor appointment to get some blood work done to see if I have an iron deficiency or some other hormone deficiency. I then told him that by the time I am done being his uke, I am usually beat and just want to plop down on the mat. Sensei then told me that I wasn't alone in that. I told sensei that they must hide it better then me, to which he responded "Not always." We then said our good byes and said we'd see him tomorrow.
Today, my head is feeling good and I am looking forward to class. My forearms are quite sore from doing attacking yokomen and whacking my arm when they block. A minor setback though… I will take the pain in stride and continue on. 2010 here I come!