Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 1730: Part 2

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion... I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Last night was one of the most challenging moments of my life in a long, long time. It was also one of the more embarrassing moments... and from a person who excels at embarrassing moments that really saying something.

It was only 15 mins into the class and I was already starting to drip with perspiration... and we hadn't even finished warming up & stretching. As we were doing the various stretching, (such as neck rotations) my bones were making popping noises, almost as they were saying "WTF, I haven't moved like that in eons".

After 30 mins I was sweating profusely and struggling to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Akido is definitely not an easy thing to pick up quickly. The movements are very complicated and need to be honed over a very long time. I couldn't believe just how uncoordinated I have become over the years. Beyond the lack of coordination, I've also become far more right hand (and foot) dominated which meant that I struggled that much more with any movement involving my left side. It's been over 15 years since I've participated in any kind of sport which requires coordination of both sides of your body equally.

Somewhere shortly near or after the 1 hour mark I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the full 2 hours. I was out of breath, my t-shirt was nearly saturated with sweat, my muscles were burning and even more embarrassing than all of that some of the extreme twisting, bending and muscle excretion was causing me to fart... although thankfully I wasn't the only one it happened to.... not that that fact makes it any less embarrassing.

Around the 1 1/2 hour mark I was proud for not stopping early, and I was even more determined to complete the entire class... although my body wasn't very impressed with that decision (especially today).

Ultimately I completed the entire class. I have to admit that I couldn't really describe it as fun, because of my embarrassment, lack of physical fitness, and my complete lack of coordination... but it was very much worth it. It was an incredible workout and I have no doubt whatsoever that Aikido will help me increase my strength, flexibility, coordination, and overall level of physical fitness. The only problem that I foresee is that Aikido really is hard on my knee. It involves a lot of time doing ground work, rolls and falls; all of which put quite a bit of strain on my knee.

I plan to attend the next class on Sunday, so I'll see how I fare after that class before I start to make any plans for the future. Regardless of what happens, I'm proud of myself for attending the class and experiencing something new and challenging.

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