I finally went back to Aikido today.
I went and joined the local dojo and attended my first class there, and I am so glad I did. While my body has forgotten a lot of what it once knew, I felt a joy in the practice and exertion. I was not frustrated with my clumsiness, because in my errors I could still feel what I was doing wrong, and feeling that I became confident that with practice I could correct it. Today in my fumbling I became convinced of my potential for grace. With patience and training I know it will return.
Of course, now every part of my body is sore. Seriously, every part. Well, maybe my hands and the very bottom of my feet are okay, but everything else is aching. But I remember this ache, and the memory makes me smile.
I had originally written a mammoth entry regarding this experience, and why it is so significant to me, including my history with the martial art of Aikido. But then, as I was preparing to post it here, I was reminded of a quote from a famous aikidoka named Terry Dobson.
"I think it's dangerous to talk too much. There's something I can learn from you. I'd rather listen to your war stories than rehash my old war stories, and you'd rather listen to mine than tell your own. I can understand that. So why don't we call a moratorium on the war stories entirely, and instead talk about how we are going to get out of this mess. How are we going to change our lives? How are we actually going to do it?"
Terry Dobson, It’s A Lot Like Dancing… an Aikido Journey
How am I going to do it? I’m going to start by going to the 6:00 am class tomorrow, and the Friday evening class after that, and classes next week after that. I am going to rediscover my grace.
I’m also going to invest in some ibuprofen. :-)