Back in the saddle again (or the dojo, anyway)
I returned to karate tonight--and damn, it felt GOOD. And I gotta say, I hadn't lost as much as I thought I might have (sure, she had to correct a few stances, kicks and punches here and there, but no more than she usually does, LOL). One thing that's striking me, though, even as I type this--I'm already getting kind of sore. I remember after my very first class and how I was pretty stiff and sore afterwards--and then after a while it just went away. It guess it speaks to how decent of shape I was in (that sentence doesn't sound quite right, but you know what I mean), when I was going regularly and being able to "take it" physically, compared to now, when I do feel a bit rusty. It's just like going to the gym, really--the first couple of times, you hurt like hell, but after getting into the habit, you just feel GOOD and energized. Damn--I was stronger than I thought for a while there. =-)
I told Sensei, too, that I was pretty sure I was going to have to drop my Masters work (both the semester and the program). I think I earned a few notches of respect when I told her that karate was more important to me...not that she would EVER encourage or ask me to stop my Masters work and put karate first, but the fact that I sat down on my own, did some thinking and prioritizing in my own life and came to that conclusion independently made her very happy. The Masters thing isn't a done deal--I talk to my advisor tomorrow--but frankly, unless I can get an extension (and this may be shady, but I'm totally going to play the "bipolar card" and see if I can get some kind of medical extension, if such a thing even exists), there's NO WAY I can finish this term. And you know, my Masters work has been hanging over me, adding to my stress level and just puts "one more thing" on my plate; hell, making even the tentative decision to just drop it and refocus on other things has already lifted a tremendous burden from my shoulders. And I just cannot put into words how good I felt to be back at the dojo, even just after one class. I stand taller, I'm more focused, I'm SMILING again--it's like nature's antidepressant. (OOOH. New campaign slogan: "Karate: Nature's Prozac.") Karate doesn't ADD to my stress level; it RELIEVES it. And I truly feel, at a very gut level, that all things considered--both internally (like the bipolar) and externally (lying fuckfaces)--that karate is where I need to focus myself. I'd rather do one thing at 100% than 2 things at 50%. And my psychic TOLD ME to follow my gut instincts more, so I am.
And the coolest part was that Sensei had a birthday present for me. (LOL--I don't say that like "Whoo hoo, I got a present!!" I say that because of the gift itself.) She gave me "The Bible of Karate"--and I don't know why, maybe it's the crazy and/or PMS in me, but I got a little misty- eyed when she gave it to me. I guess it's because I know how much karate means to HER--she truly lives and breathes it; it's in her BLOOD--and it was almost symbolic, I guess, that she recognizes that same fire is in me. I don't know if that makes sense.
But it meant the world to me.
I was a bit thrown, though, when I asked her if she thought I'd still be ready and able to test for my green belt in early February (after missing a few weeks) and she says, all casually, "Yes, of course you will--oh, and by the way, I moved promotions to mid January." Um, yeah, that's like TWO MONTHS from now. You generally need roughly four, MAYBE three months. But assuming that I get back on board hardcore and even throw in some Saturday classes as well, who knows?