Still going, despite my ups and downs. The tennis elbow still affects me from time to time, though I’ve learnt ways of minimising the problem now. My left calf (the one I have to push off when making a stike) likes to give me grief too, though I suspect this is either my bad veins (varicose, from years of working standing up!), or a muscle knot – if it’s the latter then by regular use of a foam roller I’m hoping to free it up somewhat. Anyone else ever tried foam rolling? I opted for a ‘rumble roller’ with lots of knobbles on, they supposed help work out the knots like a masseusse’s knuckles – painful, but seems to work to some degree!
Anyway, I digress. As I said, there have been ups and downs, some physical, some mental. I’m quite prone to mild depression, and when things don’t go my way, I can find myself thinking about quitting. I’ve learnt to never do anything rash when this happens – just recognise it for what it is, ride it out, and soon the status quo will be restored. I’ve had some fairly naster foot blisters too – I seem to be very prone to them (when I’ve done hiking, I’ve also suffered from the on the soles of my feet, despite the most careful foot, sock and boot preparations…). I’ve got better at taping now, though, and can usually keep them from getting too serious.
In terms of my Kendo – for some months, since first getting into armour, I’ve struggled in spotting openings in my opponent’s stance (or Kamae, as we Kendoka say!), and as a result have found myself ‘standing off’, and countering, rather than being an offensive fighter. Over the past couple of weeks, however, something seems to have ‘clicked’, and I’ve found myself suddenly able to find cracks in their defences, and I’ve become suddenly more aggresive as a fighter. Whether this is the training sinking in more, or whether it’s a growth in my confidence (or a combination of both), I don’t know, but I’m liking it! I’m still far from being a good fighter, but after a year, that can hardly be expected. I’ll progress at my own rate, and I’m happy with that.
Fitness wise, the sessions are certainly becoming more intense for those of us in armour, and by the time we get to sparring towards the end of the session I’m often blowing hard, but I can feel my ‘Kendo fitness’ getting better. I’m also changing shape a bit – not much in the way of weight change, but I’ve lost some lard and toned up here and there, so that’s a bonus.
There are a couple of team tournaments which the dojo is trying to get teams together for, and I’m umming and arring on that. Not sure if I’m ready – can my anxiety cope with it, I wonder? The first one is next month, but that’s just as my car goes in for it’s yearly MOT test, so I’ll be transport-less for that one, unless someone wants to take me, but that means driving out several miles in the direction opposite to the way we’ll need to be going, not sure if anyone will appreciate that, but I’ll discuss it with my Sensei after class I think, and see what he thinks. I certainly tneed to dip a toe into the world of Shiai (competition) at some point…
Confidence back UP again! 9 months ago