Monday, May 18, 2009

Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!

I went to kendo with Jon on Friday. Note that this was not our schedule Sunday class, but rather an extra practice session with the sensei of the dojo in the area and all our senpei.

At Friday practice, you need to wear hakama and gi. I was really reluctant to go--even offering to clean up all the laundry piled up all over the bedroom. Jon had ordered our kendo uniforms a week before, but because of my blood diamonds I decided to sit it out. This week, I was thought that easing into it would at least be a start. So I put on the outfit, and it felt kind of cool. At first, I decided against going still, but when Jon came back to ask what floor the car was parked, I decided to go with him.

Everything was fine--good even. Our lady senpei Yasuka was excited for me--there are very few women at the practice. We put our shinais against the wall and warmed up by running around the gym. When I went to retrieve my shinai, the sensei's son grabbed mine instead of his own. It wasn't until after initial stretches that he realized that the pink Japanese character on his shinai probably just didn't appear. (His shinai also had his name written all over it.) In any case, that was a bit distracting.

Now, I hate sports. I was never good at them practically, though conceptually I can watch and appreciate most of them. Unless you prescribe actions to me (like a dance), I will be awkward and dangerous. So when we were told to run sideways, which is something we just never do in our other class, and I was a bit hesitant. But I thought, hell, I can do it. It's just sideways.

So imagine, about 25 people that are basically your teachers or their kids--ranging in age from like 6 to 65. Imagine being in the front of the second line in front of the mirror, and having to run sideways. Imagine running sideways and then losing your balance at the very end. Imagine falling. Imagine saying "Whooooa!" while falling, but not realizing what's happening until you're actually on the floor. Imagine feeling totally embarrassed and all those insecurities from high school gym class welling up. Imagine laughing at yourself because there's no other way to deal with the remaining 45 minutes you have left. Oy vey.

I now have a crazy black and blue on my leg and an abrasion on my hand from Sunday's practice. Nice.

I guess kendo is as dangerous as dancing. Jon broke my toenail.
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