I had my first session back on the mats in 10 months this week. I have to be honest I was nervous about going. I have had to move schools due to the cost of travelling and also just to make sure I got more mat time. I manage to grade for my blue belt just before the surgery rollercoaster started, but after 10 months off and only 2 months of training out of 18 since getting my blue belt, I did not want to come across as a fraud or trying to make up excuses. When I probably would look like I suck. So all these things were running through my head, yeah that nasty chimp voice telling me to put it off until tomorrow. (it reminded me of a first day at school when I was a little young munki). But I took a deep breath acknowledged that I would probably suck, as long as I came out of it unharmed and with a smile on my face it would be a win. It would also be the first step of getting my life back on track. Dramatic much? I know, but just lifting weights and yoga are not really hitting the spot at the moment. These are cool and I enjoy them but they are not “play” so I need to get back on the mat.
So after packing my gi and getting my stuff ready, which all felt a bit weird after all this time. I turned up. The instructor Steve Campbell was really friendly and really understanding about my shoulder issue. Also all the other students were really accommodating of my problem and friendly too. Some of the end drills I wasn’t so good at and I struggled with aspects of the techniques we were shown. But overall I did have a first positive experience, there was a nice vibe to the school and I am definitely going back.
Looking back on the session I am pleased that I am looking at the techniques more analytically now. Thinking over the technique there were tweaks that I could have made that would have made it less of a struggle. I am pleased that my brain is starting to work this way to look for improvements and trying to “understand” the technique. Before I would get shown the technique and struggle to retain the details, until I had gone through a lot of repetitions.
There were a lot of positives from this first session and I am really pleased to be back on the mat…finally.