Monday, November 12, 2007

Sensei's question...

So this extended weekend has been an active one, so much so that Friday seems like weeks ago. On Friday I drove down to Richmond twice, once to take my CFC EPA 608 test to do refrigerant stuff, and again later that evening to buy Clare a new violin for Christmas.

Both trips were important, but that did not mean on Saturday morning I was let off easy. I met Chris T. at 7:30 AM at the dojo to go through some sections of his blackbelt test. Believe me, I was not pumped to get thrown over someone's hip 15 times. I know how to take the fall and all, but it was more a question of Chris learning the throw. Luckily for me, Chris' painful and uncertain hip throws had improved dramatically since this past Tuesday, where I was tossed into oblivion while my partner was left scratching his head.

The good news is that, in the end, we were able to work out the kinks in his technique, which in turn made taking the falls much more pleasant and exciting.

Anyway, I just wanted to sleep in on Saturday, but by the end of our practice and the following class I was digging it and everything felt well-worth it. I came home and then grabbed some movies, wings to go and a few replacement light bulbs for the Jeep. That night we watched Shooter, which was surprisingly good and reinspired me to live on a mountain top.

Sunday I was happy to sleep in, finally--I seem to have inherited Clare's morning fogginess by proxy. Lovely. So I pounded down some coffee, happily, as well as my mother-in-laws egg-vegetable medley and some corn muffins. At 1PM, I met Chris T. again at the dojo for a full run-through of his test. Everything went well, and at the end, Sensei asked me a question:

"So what are you going to do, between now and Chris's test, to build up your wind capacity?"

LOL. This kind of caught me by surprise, but I rolled with it. I know I need to work on my endurance levels, I always do, but I answered the question nonetheless. "Well, I am going on a hike tomororow!" which brought a rounding good laugh.

And this brings me to the subject of this Update. What am I to do? Well, I did go on a small hike today with Clare and the baby through the beautiful and winding Alum Springs Park in Fredericksburg. I carried Anastasia on my back in her Kelty carrier and felt great. Maybe that's because last weekend, I got my butt totally kicked at Prince William County park doing the same thing for a longer and more difficult hike.

I guess my point is that when we are active and actually stay active, not only do we feel better, but also we carry the benefits of our previous activity with us into the next day. It's usually easier to keep up the juice factor if you keep going than if you stop, wait a while, and then start again. You lose a ton of momentum and it feels like cruel and unusual punishment.

Because I have been a once-a-weeker at Aikido, I almost always feel like I am starting all over again by the next class, in terms of stamina and endurance. But this weekend, where I did something every day that was vigorous and active, I not only feel better in the present, but was able to carry the benefits of those activities into each successive action.

Chris's test is in less than 3 weeks. Between now and then, I will make an effort to be more active to make it through our seminar and Chris's test. Hopefully, I will get to do a crazy-ass hike between now and then too.

We shall see.

Over and out.



Ben Hatke said...

Go Nick Go! Hiking with a baby on the back is an EXCELLENT way to build stamina. As they get heavier you build even MORE stamina.

Nick-dog said...

Hey Ben! Thanks for the encouragement. This weekend we are going to attempt Stony Man on Skyline.

We'll see what happens...