Home > Family, Fighting, Judo, Training > Mr. Latimer comes to judo!

Mr. Latimer comes to judo!

Today was my first day back on the mat for over a month. This time away from training is the longest I’ve gone without judo since I came back almost two years ago. All this week, I could not wait for 11AM Sunday. I finally began to feel better after about six weeks of being pretty sick, but this past week I had a ton of work since I had one week left in the semester. Sunday judo was the light at the end of my final exams tunnel.

Today was also a big day for Mr. Latimer. This was his first day back on the mat, too. Except for Mr. Latimer, it’s been years since he’s gone through a full practice as a participant and not as a coach. Even in terms of coaching, Mr. Latimer been away from that for a few years, too. But after losing 30 pounds, rehabing his knee, and a month of trash-talking, he told me he was going to come to practice at my club at beat the hell out of me the first Sunday after I finished my semester. For those of you who know Mr. Latimer on a personal level, you know that he is a man of his word. He did beat the hell out of me. He even choked me a couple of times.

Although I was really, really excited to back to practice, I was also nervous. I know I’m out of shape. I know I gained weight. Those two factors typically don’t make for fun training sessions. I also had all kinds of irrational fears, like maybe I’d forgotten how to do forward rolls. And all of the throws I’ve ever learned. I was also nervous since my dad can be, um, a little critical when it comes to judo. In the back of my mind, I was not that pumped to have him see me train when I’m not at my best physically. However, I stopped thinking about myself (for once) and thought about what this Sunday morning might mean for my dad. I can only imagine how he might have felt as a second degree black belt with 25+ years of experience. Stepping back on the mat after well over five years with all that hard training behind you–that has to be a big deal. Probably bigger than I can wrap my head around, not that Mr. Latimer would ever give any indication of the significance coming back to practice has for him. He put most of his focus on trying to break me psychologically.

Despite my nervousness about class today, I had so much fun. Yes, it was weird and a little discouraging feeling how much strength I’ve lost and knowing my cardio isn’t what it should be. I was just so happy to be back on the mat, working hard with my training buddies. And like good training buddies, they beat me bad, but not as mercilessly as Mr. Latimer. I know he had fun, too, because after five minutes of smashing and choking me he said, “That right there was worth coming in.”




Categories: Family, Fighting, Judo, Training
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