Archive for April, 2013

Haikuesday 04.30.13

April 30, 2013 Leave a comment


comes fiercest after bad nights

since that’s the challenge.

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Highlight reel.

April 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I had several moments this week that made me pretty pumped about where my life is and where it’s going. On Thursday night at judo practice, our sensei emeritus gave me a photo taken about 17 years ago. It was a picture of my dad, warming up for practice. In the corner was his old gym bag, which I remember being a fixture in my childhood, held together by safety pins. The photo reminded me of how judo is not just mine; it’s my family’s.

On Saturday and Sunday, I had more judo inspiration. Some members of my club went to a clinic run by former Olympian and current Olympic coach, Jimmy Pedro. He was accompanied by Travis Stevens, who is a member of the Olympic team.  For a ridiculously low price for such high caliber athletes, my teammates and I got to see a fresh perspective on the basics. It was hard not to be star-struck, to tell you the truth. At one point, I executed a throw and Jimmy Pedro exclaimed, “Nice!” I turned several shades of red and it took me a second to get it together. Then on Sunday, not only did Nick Kossor, a member of the US national team stop in for practice, but one of my regular training partners gave me a handmade pair of hoop earrings. I got to experience some incredible judo, but I also realized that I am surrounded by incredible people. Having judo back in my life regularly has brought me focus and structure, but more importantly, it’s brought me so much happiness. I remember how important my judo family was growing up, and I love that bit by bit, I’m becoming a part of a new judo family. (And I do include my BJJ buddies among my judo family).

Amid all this awesome judo stuff, I had a moment at work that made me feel encouraged and excited for my career. While I was in the midst of some crisis stuff on-site, I was feeling slightly in over my head. On Thursday morning, I met with my LCSW supervisor for our weekly supervision. As I mentioned to him that our BSW intern was leaving, my supervisor asked me if I would have the opportunity to supervise an intern in the future. He said that he thought it would be a great opportunity for me and he thought I’d be good at it. He  told me I have a strong sense of values and ethics and I’m good at meeting the client where they are. My supervisor noted he does not encourage everyone to try supervising. This conversation probably lasting about two minutes, but it’s really meant a lot to me. When I think about the future of my career and earning my doctorate, I often wonder if I have the skills to make another degree worthwhile, not just for me, but for my field. I want to make a contribution. My supervisor’s small compliment gave me some confidence that one way or another, I will do something good with social work.

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Haikuesday 04.23.13

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

I get frustrated,

but then I remind myself

it’s because I care.

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Haikuesday 04.16.13

April 16, 2013 2 comments

I know I should eat

for the sake of normal life,

but I can’t taste now.

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I knew I shouldn’t.

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

I knew I shouldn’t react in the moment–

the message was for me, but it wasn’t about me.

You explained to me so calmly,

with those eyes

those eyes that reflect the sun,

like the cold water in a creek skimming over rocks and moss,

this was serious now.

You kept that easy smile on your face,

but my stomach writhed and clenched

while my throat opened and closed.

I always think when we talk

how like a child you are–so curious and willing to meet your fear,

which makes you such a good man.

You were being brave for me

and I wanted to be brave for you,

but my stomach writhed and clenched

while my throat opened and closed

as I tried not to react in the moment.

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Haikuesday 04.09.13

“Why do I like this?”

The thought struck me in Kata.

Who knows? I just do.

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On the sidelines.

Today, I went to watch my friends compete at a judo tournament. It’s a tournament that I’ve competed in before, but I decided to sit out this year. Those reasons are not important now; what I do want to talk about is what I saw today.

Overall, it was not a triumphant day for my buddies. My one teammate learned this morning that she was the only person in her division; therefore, she had no one to fight. That kind of disappointment is hard to temper. Yes, we all put our bodies through a lot when we train for judo, but it’s such a mental game. Getting in the right mindset to compete takes a lot of work. You have to talk yourself out of doubts, visualize what you want to do, keep your confidence strong, and stay relaxed. So if you show up and you find out you don’t even get a chance to test yourself, it’s devastating. And beyond aggravating.

For my other buddies, there were no gold medals, which is typically what we aim for when we compete. Even if we don’t think we have a realistic chance in our division, there’s a voice in the back of our minds that still imagines something big, something surprising coming from us. My buddies won some matches, but they also lost some, too. No matter the conditions under which you lose, it’s sucks. There’s a balance you have to strike in your self-analysis–to be critically reflective without punishing yourself. It’s a matter of practicing patience with oneself and partializing what you can learn from your mistakes.

I’m proud to say that I think my buddies succeeded in this balance today. No one punched a wall (which I’ve seen), or cursed on the mat (which I’ve also seen), or stormed off to be alone to sulk (which I’ve done). I saw my buddies take hard looks at themselves and accept where they are. I have the utmost confidence that when they return to practice this week, they will be more motivated to improve than they were last week. And I have to say, even though I was on the side lines today, I feel inspired by friends’ ability to challenge themselves and face the outcome.