There was a rumour at the Sayonara Party that Terauchi Sensei was going to take a class at 0900 the following morning. Now I’ve been observing dry January and so this was the first night that I’d had a drink in God knows how long so on the ‘morning after’ there was no way that I was going to make it to such a class. I had another plan in any case, James from the dojo bar had wanted to complete a kata challenge and I was more than up for it! Shame that it had coincided with the Terauchi Sensei class but that’s life.
The whole point of the challenge wasn’t the kata or where we were doing it or anything like that, it was simply that we were doing it. I grew up having to challenge myself. I knew one thing from early in my life, there was no way I was going to end up staying at home. Now I have absolutely nothing against anyone who wants that life, I just wanted more, but I was not brave. In any way. In fact, I am pretty lacking in confidence… well kind of. I knew early on that I needed to really push myself out of my comfort zone and so pretty much any challenge is something that I am generally ‘up for’. Which has it’s good and bad sides, as my friend Sarah will attest to, means that we kill each other in the gym.
It’s been a few months since I did a kata challenge, in fact, the last challenge was Saifa Kata, which is one of my least favourites, so to be honest that time was not much fun! We were doing this challenge in the lovely new dojo, on mats, which were new, not a problem for the first 30 or so, but after that, not easy. I’ve not trained on mats in years, so my feet were not used to them. The last time I was here I also did a Kata Challenge, so I wonder if this has now become some sort of new fangled tradition??
Later that afternoon and because I am a glutton for punishment, I was back in Higaonna Senseis dojo for self training. Many of the Japanese IOGKF Instructors are over for a meeting, which is why I thought I recognised so many people who went by the window during the Kata Challenge! Doh! They were off to have a meal together, and so it was self training at the dojo. I have to admit, I found it very hard to motivate myself. But try I did and to be honest in the end I felt better for having tried.
I took some encouragement from a crane that I saw fishing in the river behind my apartment earlier in the day. For ages and ages she walked up and down looking for food. She stood for ages, stock still and could not find anything. Meanwhile, I watched from the bridge and could see the eel just below her, an eel that stayed close to the edge of the rocks right below her beak. You can just see the eel below the crane on the picture.
45 minutes later, and the eel is no more, crane is now fed. I don’t know how long those minutes felt to the crane, but it looked like hard work and more to the point, she didn’t so any sense of giving up. I guess you could say we both had a good day! Before anyone asks, yes I did watch for ages, there is also a turtle that lives in the same stretch of river that has, on occasion had a go at a crane who tried to stand on, what I guess can only be described as ‘it’s space’.