Home > Life > Don’t call it a comeback.

Don’t call it a comeback.

For the last month and a half, I’ve been away from two parts of my life that I love a lot: judo and writing. The reason why judo and writing were absent from my life are not interesting or important. All I know is that I thought about those two things everyday while I wasn’t taking part in them.

Two weeks ago, I got back on the mat. I was nervous to go back to training. I was worried about my conditioning and my mental endurance. More than that, I was worried that being on the mat wouldn’t feel the same–that somehow, being away for so long since my spring training was spotty, that I would feel like I was out of place and out of rhythm. I was afraid judo and I wouldn’t still love each other.

When I got to my club, I felt a little more at ease as my coaches and training buddies welcomed me back. Unpacking my gear and getting changed made me feel a little better, too, as I think we all find comfort in our little rituals. After I changed into my gi, I bowed and stepped awkwardly onto the mat. Minutes into the warm up, however, I felt my focus come back. About an hour into practice, I felt more relaxed than I could remember. During my first round of randori, my partner accidentally kneed me in the nose. She felt terrible, and I felt stunned and a little sick. I finished the round, but afterwards I felt really out of it and shaky. I decided to sit out the last half hour of class. Initially, I was disappointed in myself for making that decision and not going for longer. Then I remembered that a part of judo is that sometimes you accidentally get kneed in the face and feel spacey and nauseated. I remembered I was coming back to class the next day and I’d have another chance. Suddenly I realized I felt like my real, true self, more so than I had in a long time. Everything I love about life was on that mat.

And now that I’ve written about that, I feel even better.

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