It is almost 2 am and I cannot sleep. Partly because of world cup conditioning that drove my REM cycles kaput and partly also because I am in pain.
Training ended at 11. 30 pm just now. The focus on the class was to prep us for Jakarta. In one of my previous posts, I wrote about my shoulder injury. Although I had been told by my senseis here to rest it, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Last week, at about 9pm, I had gone to the dojo and brought back 6 mats, with the help of the husband of course. We assembled in it our library and I practiced my ukemi again and again, in desperation. I couldn’t face the fact of going to Jakarta without knowing how to do good/nice ukemi. I couldn’t face the prospect of being in Jakarta with a whole camp of aikidokas who would watch me do lousy ukemi. Against better judgement (which I later realised was sheer stupidity) I trained, daily at home and almost daily at the dojos. Something was the driving force behind this. I am not sure if it is determination or sheer desperation. But just now during training I found out which one. It was neither of those two.
Training daily was ok, as long as I do not fall on my injured shoulder. But sometimes, in the midst of the action, I just forgot I got an injured shoulder UNTIL the fall happened and the sharp pain pierced through. My senseis here allowed me to train but they were careful on which side I fall. But just now there was a point I went overboard and I heard something snapped and it was so painful I simply ran off the mat at into the storage area and burst out crying silently. It was not the pain that I was crying about. It was going to Jakarta and not able to fall properly and having to face it through.
I wiped my tears, blocked out everything and return to the mat to resume training. I lasted for an hour until when I sparred with my sensei and he did shihonage and in the heat of the moment, I gave him my right hand, he pulled it before we both realised that’s where the injured shoulder is connected to. I yelped. He asked whether I been practising ukemi at home, I confessed that I did and he was blardy pissed at me.
I was asked to leave the mat the extra time after the final bow out. The rest of the class would be practising advance ukemi and he specifically called out my name to leave the mat. It was a blow too hard for me to swallow. I had to sit out, watching my classmates swish and swoosh beautifully in their hakamas. I felt useless and disabled.
That was when it hit me. I am not hard up on wanting to do beautiful ukemi because I was either determined or desperate. I was not hard up on wanting to do proper ukemi because I wanted to be prepared for Jakarta. I was not hard up to do nice ukemi because I needed to at this point of time. The very reason I had been so hard up to do proper ukemi, despite knowing jolly well that I have an injury is because of my blardy big ego, which kept telling me, I cannot let people see me not able to fall properly.
This lesson had been a physically painful one. And the last I heard, physiotherapists are expensive. So yeah, egos are both painful and expensive and I had to be stupid enough to listen to it.