Yesterday, I went to my first aikido class after spraining my ankle. I have a flexible brace that I wore during practice. There was some getting used to doing backward rolls on the left side, as the brace is a little bulky, and some reacquainting myself with techniques and moving through them, but there was no pain involved in the practice, and it felt good to be back on the mat again.
I want to continue with this deliberate, conscious practicing. Although I’m scheduled to test for 1st kyu next month, and will train towards that end, I will have to see how I feel by the end of this month and go on from there.
This past month has been a series of adjustments for me. During the healing process from the injury, I’ve had to contend with unexpected changes in my mind as well as my body. Severely limiting my mobility had the effect of me acting as if I were a wolf trapped in a cage– I chafed at being unable to do things on my own, such as walking to work, or even walking from my desk to the reference collection at work. Rather than give up, however, I did ask for help, and was grateful for it. I had bad days when I would cry over nothing, simply frustrated, but in the back of mind, I knew that this setback was temporary, that time and patience would heal me, and that I would be able to stand and walk on my own two feet soon.
I don’t exist in isolation– and I’m no longer alone, either. Although my usual way of dealing with difficult situations when I’m by myself is to wall off and bear it, this is not an option for me now, and perhaps it shouldn’t have been to begin with. I come across as being uncommunicative and defensive, an island. I liken this to the aikido expression of “ki gushing in,” or having one’s energy hidden and protected inside instead of flowing outwards. I needed to use that energy within to mend, but to continually hide one’s energy is a sign of insecurity, restricting the circumference of one’s world to boundaries of one’s body, rather than expanding it to include the surroundings and the people within it.
To be continued: scheduling and dietary adjustments and equilibrium.
In a lighter vein: this weekend will be filled with friends, knitting, Scrabble, and good food. and toothpicks.