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Yesterday was my 50th birthday. For those who I haven't already bored with this story in person, here y' go:
When I turned 48 I hadn't been training all that long, wasn't in great shape, and my ukemi was way less efficient. We don't often do birthday rolls (mostly because people are out doing other things on their birthdays, I think), so I was kind of surprised, and really tickled when at the end of class Sensei called me up. He said "We have a birthday today. Linda Eskin is turning 18!" And I thought "Why you patronizing so-and-so [edited for civility], not expecting as much of me as of other students... Rrrr..." And then he threw me 18 times, and it about half killed me. LOL I saw, and appreciated, the wisdom in what he'd done, bless his heart.
But then afterword he said "And next year she'll be turning 17!" And I thought, "Why you... No way. That's just not cool." It sure as hell wasn't in my plans to get weaker and less capable over time. But I knew in one year, which goes by pretty quickly, I probably wouldn't be able to do 49, so right then and there I made it my goal, and told him so, that I would be able to do 50 rolls on my 50th birthday (which was on a class day - yes, I checked, two years ago).
I've kept that goal in mind this whole time, working on getting the effortful spots out of my rolls as best I can, training for endurance, and taking really good care of myself (icing injuries, doing my PT exercises, etc.). With my birthday fast approaching I did so