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Mini-conundrum

November 27, 2011 2 comments

I didn’t realize that recovering from Shingles could be such a slow and stupid process. I’m experiencing difficulty getting my work done, and while I’ve asked for two mini extensions, I’m still panicking. I have to complete four papers, three exams, and one presentation by December 16th.

I’m pretty sure I got myself into this mess by pushing myself a little too hard and not giving myself adequate recovery time after I was first diagnosed. A large part of me is terrified of making myself worse. So on one hand, I think to myself, “What’s the big deal if I get a B+ or two on my report card the semester I got Shingles?” On the other hand, that thought disgusts me and I’d rather come out saying, “The semester I got Shingles, I still got all As.”

Clearly, only Calvin and Hobbes can put things into perspective.

Categories: Reason, School, stress, work

All that hype.

October 4, 2011 4 comments

So, I did not perform my kata demonstration last night. I realized as I was warming up that my new injury really hurts. Not just in the nagging, inconvenient way. It hurts in the sense that on Sunday, I almost cried and last night, I almost cried. I almost went through with it anyway, but thankfully my training partner has considerably more sense than I do and pointed out that the demonstration did not have  to happen that night. What good could come of exacerbating my injury? I still have to do a couple more tournaments before I’m officially promoted, so changing the date of my kata demo is really OK.

Of course, logically, I understand all that. But my irrational side feels so dejected. I just wanted to get it over with and move on to the next thing. But now, I must be patient with myself. I genuinely suck at patience.

I’m back to the drawing board yet again with judo. I feel like I keep doing something wrong in terms of my training and its impact on my body. Times like last night make me wonder if I need to take off one whole month completely, but that doesn’t feel like the right answer. I keep telling myself that I need to slow down, but truthfully, I don’t even know what I mean by that. What I do know is that whatever happens, I have to remember that I’m grateful that judo is in my life, no matter what it throws at me. It teaches me more than I probably want to know. Most of lessons come from the tremendous people I train with who thankfully have sense. I don’t know how I’d get through times like these without them.

Everything is fine.

October 2, 2011 7 comments

Whenever I have a bad day, I really try not to complain. On days like today, however, where everything seems to be going wrong before noon, I do feel pretty irritated. Actually, it’s more like a confused, overwhelmed feeling of “What the f***?”

Last night, I had a debilitating headache which threw me off a little  this morning. I discovered my laptop will not turn on. I accidentally got on an express train while heading to judo practice so I missed kettlebells class. I realized that I only managed to put in one contact lens.  An injury I acquired on Friday became so painful that I had to stop what I was doing completely and I had to do my best to not cry or throw a complete fit.

Mornings like these, I try to keep things in perspective. Such little occurrences are by no means the worst things that have happened to me. Also, realistically, more terrible things will happen in my life and this morning will seem like joke. Clearly, the contact lens and missing KB class are not epic tragedies. Even my laptop not working is not the worse thing since I don’t have any major assignments on there right now, and I can use computers at school. My internet connection in my apartment is entirely unreliable anyway. The injury is pretty upsetting since I’m scheduled to perform my kata demonstration tomorrow and I prefer to be calm and clear-headed while I do it.

When a series of tiny things contribute to a “bad day”, I often go back to the phrase “everything happens for a reason.” Truthfully, I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason. I think all the things that happen in our lives and in this world occur at random and chaotic intervals. We simply don’t have control over them. It’s up to us to assign reason and meaning to our experiences and come out better for them.

Whatever. I only have to take 18 falls tomorrow night. No big deal when you really think about it.

Applying reason to passion.

On Wednesdays, my club has a rotating black belt instructor class. This gives the club a chance to learn from all of our black belts, who came up the ranks from different clubs and even different countries. I really like this concept, and unfortunately the class has been pretty lightly attended lately. So when I showed up last night, I was the only one there besides the instructor. This has happened before with me and this particular instructor. But he said would work with me since I took the time to show up. Something that I’ve loved about our club from the start is that the high ranks are really invested in the progression of the low ranks. This black belt has taken a lot of time with me to help me improve.

As I was about to get changed, he asked me how my hip was. “Well,” I said, “it doesn’t hurt all the time now, but I’m still limited. I can’t really fall yet, and there are some throws that I still shouldn’t do.” He looked at me with that perplexed, frustrated look that parents often reserve for their children. “Then why are you here?” he asked me. “You’re young. You take a week off. No judo for one week, then you come back a new-born person.” Of course, I didn’t really have a good answer to his question, so I think I just frowned and sighed.

Two more people did show up for class, and my instructor worked with me since he’s a little injured, too. He kept reminding me to STOP if I started hurting. So when this point arrived during the course of the class, he told me again that I needed to take a full week off. I started to protest. “But I keep thinking about when school starts again in the Fall and I’ll only be able to come to practice once or twice a week. I don’t want to take that much time off now.” I think I sounded whiny and desperate. So he broke it down for me.

“Lori, look, school starts and you make a schedule. I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning.  I have three kids. My wife works nights. I still come here.  I mean, sometimes you know I have to stay late for work and I can’t. Sometimes they call me up and there’s a problem, I have to fix it. When I’m injured, I can’t take too much time off because I’m old now. It takes me so long to get back into shape. But you’re young. Judo will be here. You take one week off, and you come back a new-born person.”

I sighed. He smiled.

“Look, I understand. When you have a passion, and I know I sound like a movie right now, you have a passion you make it work. You make a schedule. Take one week off. Judo will be here.”

While there is no crying in judo, I almost teared up while my instructor was talking to me. Just listening to him describe his day-to-day gave me a lot to think over. If he’s getting up at 5:00 in the morning and coming to practice, he’s not getting home until after 10:00 at night.  He also teaches the kids class on Saturday. He’s been practicing judo  for at least 30 years. You don’t casually stick with something three decades.

He and I definitely had this conversation before. We had it just two weeks ago. Previously, I’ve listened to him, but I didn’t really take it to heart. Something last night in his words made me have one of those moments where I realized I don’t know anything about anything. What do I know about sacrifice and commitment? What do I know about compromise? What do I know about patience? At this point in my life, not much.