On the mend

Ok panic over I’m getting better again. A chest infection apparently- you know how old ladies go a bit doolallie with UTIs well apparently high temp and not enough air does the same to me. I managed kids club tonight but Gary was there as backup. We did nikyo mainly with free practice at the end. Then at the very end when the kids had gone I got Gary to throw me around lots. I miss taking ukemi. Couldn’t do much before I was tragically out of breath but at least my brain is working again. Body still a bit weak and wobbly but will get better again soon I hope.

On the mend

Contains swearing and ranting

Right, there will be swearing in this. Probably words beginning with f so don’t read any further if you are easily offended.

I’m having a health blip. I’m not labelling it as a relapse yet but something neurological is going on. It’s kinda hard to hide when I’m staggering around like I just downed 4 pints…of vodka. My thought process is altered too. I find it really hard to plan things or get things in the right order. To the inventor of “wings” on sanitary towels -I hate you. One little sequencing blip leaves pubes glued to pants …bastard…bet it was a man.

As for the rest of the crapness….well the disappointment of other people is worse than how I’m feeling. Oh your MS is bad again have your been doing too much, eating the wrong things, getting too stressed? Like it’s my fucking fault. Latest from Gary is that maybe I shouldn’t eat tomatoes….for fucksake…I don’t eat meat, fish, refined sugar, processed food, or too much saturated fat and that’s not enough when I get ill it’s my sodding fault for eating tomatoes….right. Or colleagues at work are more along the doing too much line…apparently I’m too busy and I should just stop doing so much. Yes I would love to have had enough money to pay someone to install Hannah’s bathroom, oh and a cleaner would be useful, and a gardener, and a handy”man”. Other friends have run marathons, cycled thousands of miles or walked multiple Munros but I’m over doing things because I have done some aikido- not much just 1.5 seminars and 3 classes in 7 weeks. Yeh you can all fuck off too.

Then there are my friends who say I’m stressed and need to relax more… Yeh I know exactly what is going on here…I know the levels of disability to which I may well descend. I like being able to walk, stand, move my arms and hell yeh the thought of losing it all again is a wee bit stressful so fuck you with relaxation and stress management. I’d like to see you guys cope with the stress of choking every time you eat- go ahead try aromatherapy to help with the oxygen deprivation.

So, yeh health bad and I feel like everyone blames me. I think it’s the random misfortune of ill health. I am of course full of doubt- should I be starting a club that I may have to abandon through ill health? Who knows…I have weeks. Before it starts,..all will become clear. Faith…one thing I do still have?

Contains swearing and ranting

Start date

After my early return from Birmingham I rested in Glasgow for a few days and went back to my new Sensei’s club in Glasgow. It was my third good session with him so I’m fairly convinced it’s going to work out ok. I feel much more confident about my aikido now despite training with a massive guy who was really difficult to move. I made progress on iriminage and shihonage with him.

Today I booked the hall for the adults club that I’m starting. First class will be on 7th September and I’m feeling a nauseating mixture of excitement and nerves. I have two people definitely coming both have plenty of experience and two complete beginners are making noises like they might come but I’m not convinced they will actually make that first step. Next I need to advertise -I did tell the kids at kids club tonight to take their parents along but they just laughed. We only had 8 kids training tonight but it was the first day back at school and it felt very much like a Monday all day so some of them probably forgot about training.

Start date

Bad day

I didn’t sleep much. Sat up on the edge of the bed like someone 50’years older than I am and couldn’t stand. Tried to have a shower and fell over. The second time I fell I decided last nights shower would be fine I didn’t need to wash any more and I sat on the floor crying with the realisation that I wasn’t going to do any aikido today. There was the choice of staying and trying to train tomorrow or coming home. By the time I was rational enough to think straight I reluctantly decided home was the sensible choice. It took until nearly mid day to get myself and my luggage into the car then I sat for
hours and hours on the m6 going nowhere. Eventually I got back to glasgow feeling exhausted and very disappointed with my body. Oh well…I did what I could.

Bad day

Trolls

After enjoying yesterday’s sessions I arrived today and agreed to teach a session. I was given the first session. We did breathing exercises and some kokyu nage. I think it went well. I did what I thought I was going to so that’s unusual. Lots of people thanked me after and said they enjoyed it. One person didn’t take part and just scowled at me from the edge of the mat.

I made the mistake of asking mr scowler to train with me in the next taijitsu session. It was the tai chi sensei taking the class and he was talking about keeping connection. We were supposed to do morote dori kokyu ho….scowler (a high dan grade) insisted I go first and blocked my movement with strength. Shame he hadn’t been there yesterday when sensei Power pointed out his picture on the wall of a poster from Iwama dojo that says nobody should prevent anyone from doing technique by using strength. He also missed sensei Power saying that anyone can stop anyone else from doing a technique if they know what they are going to do. I’ve said the same thing myself many times. Anyway scowler was oblivious to this and just stopped me moving with a vice like grip. I asked him what he thought I was doing wrong since it is not unusual for men to stop me moving when they think I’m doing something wrong then, when I do it as they choose, they crash to the floor with no real effort on my part. Only no, mr scowler said he didn’t know and I should try again. He blocked me again so I asked again what I could change, he said he didn’t know. I suggested that us training together wasn’t going to work so well so perhaps I should go and train with someone else. No, no he insisted I try again so I did and he blocked it again. Troll. A negative influence on the mat. Unprepared to let me do the technique or to improve it with his help. There is no way forward with a troll. I’ve met them before and no doubt will again. My club will have no trolls. Sensei stopped to demonstrate a detail and I left the troll to train with someone else.

The rest of the day was good. We did the 20 jo suburi, had a lesson on Maiai from a sensei who is also an MMA instructor and a lesson on tenshin nage from a high punch. The room got even hotter than yesterday and we only had one weapons class to cool down in. I liked the less conventional stuff- I guess my years at Tenshinkan with their emphasis on fighting helped. I can get very direct and linear when I need to. By the end of the day I was in the all too familiar black and white mode of an overheated brain and staggered back to the car with wobbly legs and a fairly uncooperative body.

Now I have cooled down the pain has started. I used to be in pain like this all the time. Now it’s unusual. Sleep and I hope I recover for tomorrow.

Trolls

Getting sweaty!

We decided to put a new bathroom in Hannah’s flat. Toilet, sink,bath, tiles, shower all out in a day. Then new toilet and sink back in before I had to leave to come down to Birmingham. Poor Gary has been left to install the new shower and wall panels. I arrived at the hotel very dirty having not showered in three days. I was also fairly stressed. Since we were doing a big DIY project we took Gary’s estate car so I have come away in his car. It is huge- like driving a tank around (it’s and Audi a6) but the worst thing is the silly little button for a handbrake. I’m struggling to get used to that and the shear size of the car so driving in the crazy mental traffic down here is not a great experience. I went for food at the restaurant attached to the premier inn as I always do but there were no tables. I asked at reception for directions to somewhere else to eat and set off in the tank to do battle in the traffic again. I got to a restauranty pub type place so tried to park but there were no disabled spaces so I had to park in the street miles away so I would be able to get in and out of my car. Then I went to go in and there was a step with no ramp. A kind smoker offered to help me in but I didn’t like the idea of not being able to get out again. On my way back to the car I felt strange. Just stress I thought but then my sight went funny. I sat in the car willing the headache to start and the vision to clear. A rare feeling of vulnerability washed past as I imagined all the possibilities but soon I could see and had a headache so considered myself lucky to have a migraine.

Anyway, I got here and made it to day 1 of the seminar. It’s a lovely atmosphere with kids training with the adults. The dojo is in a building shared with a dance company and a furniture manufacturer. There is plenty of space but the mated room is very hot. Luckily the sessions were short enough for me to keep popping outside to cool down. There was a guest instructor teaching one session and he did tai chi stuff with dragons, ducks, monkeys, eagles and another one I can’t remember. I enjoyed the class which was focussed on sensitivity and relaxing to feel your partners movement. Two classes were taken by sensei Power looking at basics of ikkyo and shihonage and two weapons classes were taken by his 1st kyu students.

I’m learning that even within the Iwama style there are variations on how different clubs do certain things even though they all claim to be doing the only proper way. Today I broke my ikkyo ura which is ok because it’s never been very good but I thought I had partially figured it out. I need to ask more about it because we ran out of time before I felt happy with it but today’s way involved not moving the arm as you get to the side of it and also dropping under in a very low stance. Not sure if I like it or not since I didn’t get enough time to get my head round it properly.

It’s a four day course so I’m back tomorrow for more. I’ve been asked to teach which I initially said no to but now I’ve thought about it I feel like I should. I would like to feel like I have contributed to the event rather than just stolen bits of their techniques and disappeared back to Scotland so I think I’m going to ‘do’ something with breathing…perhaps empty arms since the tai chi teacher touched on that briefly. But I might change my mind since these things tend to have a habit of evolving mid-lesson.

Getting sweaty!

Still happy

I went back to the aikido class again today. It was much more relaxed and I got to train with two different people. There were more people on the mat and we looked at two different entries for tai no henko. Then we looked at techniques from morote dori. It’s a good class and I learned a lot which is what I’m looking for at the moment. At the end of class sensei said that in his club I am nidan not 3rd kyu which was a huge confidence boost and certainly makes me feel better about teaching. There were two other women there tonight which is always a good sign.

The aikido may be going well but I’m getting fed up of being in Glasgow. It’s raining all the time and my bones are starting to rot. I think I’m going to go home tomorrow but since I just ordered a new bathroom for Hannah I will be back down next week to fit it and hopefully get to another aikido class. I know I said my days of major DIY projects were over but we priced the job with someone else doing it and it came in at £6k. Even with fancy panels and floor tiles we have bought it all for about £1k so I’m going to try and fit it in a week. I may end up regretting he idea but Hannah will get a nice new bathroom.

Still happy