I bowed out halfway through training just now because although my mind told me to persevere, my body had other ideas. I have not been sleeping well for many nights, being chased by deadlines yet again, accompanied via mixpod by Nuno notwithstanding– all night long, Lionel Richie would be proud of me.
While the rest were being thrown and pushed on the dojo mats, I was slumbering at the corner, slumped against the water-cooler in a sleep so deep, I could have missed Katrina hurricane had it happened. But I woke up just in time for the end of the class, where the senpais or senior students shared with us their experiences as they proceeded higher into the grades. And one of which I found intriguing.
One of the lessons sensei would make them do is to pull a long piece of string or hair from a tray of flour, to test for their ‘centre’. To pass the test, the hair would have to be pulled out straight without messing up the flour for even a teeny weeny bit.
The imaginary light bulb above my head suddenly blinked. It reminded me of the peribahasa we learnt when we were in school which goes something like, ‘Ibarat menarik rambut dari tepung, rambut jangan putus, tepung jangan berserak’
The proverb refers to the act of handling a delicate situation with so much care as such, no parties involved are negatively affected. Sticky situation.
So I have to be prepared for this test and I can only pass it with a fully developed centre. By the look of it, I will end up with a strand of broken hair and flour all over my face like the Malay kueh, tepung gomak.
It’s ok. The Chinese say ‘ Man man lai’. Slowly, slowly come. In aikido, 11 years is still considered a baby in this art. My 3 plus years in it is nothing, but womb period.