I’ve been back training regularly (albeit with a couple of missed sessions) for month or so now, and it feels really good to be back. To be honest it’s been very difficult in a lot of ways, in fact it’s probably more difficult now than it was when I stepped into the dojang for the first time. Back then nothing was expected of me; not by myself or by anyone else in the room. Now it’s a different story. Now I have the midnight blue trim and two stripes on my belt that I’ve got to live up to, and it’s hard.
I was expecting my fitness to have gone way downhill, which it has, but that’s ok. What’s shocked me more is just how much I’ve forgotten. Simple things like the order of one-step sparring and self-defence, the higher Pyung Ahn forms – gone. I know they’re in there somewhere, up in that melon of mine, but getting them back to the surface is difficult. In fact, I’ve found it easier to take on board new things. Although there are a couple of connecting steps I’ve not quite got yet, the shape and movement in Yuk Ro 3 (Pol Wo) are sticking.
My flexibility was never great, but it’s worse at the moment. Some kicks I’m really struggling with, and I don’t know what I’ve done to my shoulder but even just doing full-arm swings in the stretch hurt like hell. I get to the top of a rotation and it’s like there’s something in there that won’t let my arm go past. Maybe I’m just getting old.
The highs and lows are the hardest things to deal with at the moment I think. I get real peaks and troughs in that ninety minutes that it leaves my head spinning. The other week I could quite easily have just walked out and away from it all, I was finding it that demoralising, but that nagging, annoying part of my brain (the same one that makes me finish gradings) wouldn’t let me go. By the end of the session I was enjoying it again, but it’s a real roller coaster.
I’m hoping that as I go more and more, and start remembering those things that got locked away when my son arrived on the scene, I’ll be on a much more even keel with my training. I managed to get to one of the seminars from our school’s summer camp a couple of weeks ago and spent four hours training with Iain Abernethy, something I’ve wanted to do for the last six or seven years, and it was really inspiring.
They (whoever ‘they’ are) say that nothing worth doing ever came easy. How very true.
Onwards and upwards.