Well, I did it. I started going to karate again. This is a bigger deal than perhaps it sounds, for a variety of reasons. One is that I haven’t done it for 12 months. That’s a long time. And it’s incredibly difficult to return as a brown belt, with brown belt expectations (at least my own, if not other people!) without having even thought about it for a year. It’s astonishing how difficult it is to get back into something at that level, even just from a physical angle…and the mental/emotional one isn’t any easier. On the other hand, it is also astonishing how much I remember, and how quickly it comes back.
It’s going to be hard, I think, to try to pace my return. I want to look like a brown belt again NOW, thank you very much. But surgery is a big deal, and so I really do need to say, “no, I can’t do those types of kicks now. Maybe in a few months.” This is hard. Maybe these next months of karate are supposed to be more about the internal aspect (keeping still and calm inside even when outside events are frustrating) than anything else. That's very likely.
I’ve been to two classes now. Thursday’s was the first, and I came away from it remembering all the reasons that I didn’t ever want to go back to karate, ever again. I almost didn’t. Tuesday’s was the second, and that one reminded me what I love about martial arts, and thinking that I care enough about the fullness of the discipline to put up with the not-so-great parts.
Thanks to Jenny and Stephanie who helped me remember why I do this.