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I stumbled out of bed this morning feeling still achy and sore from my first day. I had been stretching several times in the last few days to encourage a speedy recovery. So I stretched once more, hopped in the shower, nuked some breakfast and headed to class. So eager I was for my chance to apply what all I could remember, that I nearly got a speeding ticket on the way there. This was my first hint that I needed to heed, but failed.
I got to the dojo, suited up, and again stretched myself out. Finally I was feeling limber again! The Sempai that I had met when I first visited the dojo was there again this morning. Sensei asked him to work with me for awhile. He is fantastic! His energy feels very aware and absolutely adjustable! No wonder he's a black belt! I don't know yet just how much he's trained or for how long, however, he certainly offers a lot that I can and am learning from. He started me out with various rolling techniques. Something about the way he said things brought about one of those "Aha!" moments. While my ankle is weak and unstable, I was able to overcome it somewhat because he taught me the importance of spotting and keeping my attention directed on where my energy is returning to. So excited to have something click, I began to rush... BIG whoops! As he was having me practice frontward rolling from kneeling, I got lost in transition. I left the present moment. On my first day, I started imagining a ball of energy that I curl around when I roll. Today I forgot my ball of energy and instead thwarted myself directly against it....I burrowed my shoulder directly and deeply into the mat. I heard a crunch and a grinding crackle just before my brained received a very clear message: OUCH!This, my friends, is my lesson I learned of what not to do! Obviously meeting opposing energy head on isn't the goal. However, more importantly, I believe, is not to leave the present moment. By getting ahead of myself I created pain and some down time over the next few days.
Immediately I realized this lesson. During the next few techniques I was taught, I remembered to inhale deeply, relax, and zero in on Uke. Each time I did this, I stayed balanced, direct, centered, and found some momentary grace - if even only for a nano second. This was quite a rewarding feeling! Meanwhile, my shoulder grew more painful as class progressed. I took a moment to step off the mats and ice it for a bit. As I watched, I wanted so much to keep working. After 10 minutes or so of a breather, I returned for one last technique before class ended. Definitely the last part was a struggle! However, I come from the horse world, a mentality of "What do you do when you fall off a horse? Get back on!" So I felt it necessary to my education to attempt more work and finish on a positive note!
Do I have any regrets? If I could start today over and do it again, would I do it the same? ABSOLUTELY!! Today's lesson is one I cherish and carry with me both on and off the mats. Today I reflect on the words of Maya Angelou, "Take time out." Indeed I must take a moment to be in the moment, as nothing else truly exists.