Spent my Sunday relaxing at home and doing some light training in celebration of my 44th year on this earth.
I have got to the point now with my conditioning training where doing jump rope is not so much of a physical chore any more, the issue is keeping enough variety in my footwork to ensure my muscles are challenged enough.I did three 10 minute sets to some good house music which kept me relaxed and focused. The incoming resistance from the taifun that skirted by Tokyo on Sunday added to the resistance training aspect!
That, and a nicely paced 40 minute session of kettlebells, concentrating on flowing the exercises together and longer time frames of performance of each set rounded out my day. Relaxing into it.
Saturday was my first experience with Jan in the ring sparring, and I must admit that it was an introduction into a whole new world. We did it in rounds, with Jan breaking down what happened after each, telling me what I was and wasn’t doing, and generally keeping me as focused as possible on the task at hand.
Having someone come at you and hit you in real time is very different from practicing a punch combination or a kata from your martial art class by yourself. In real time, you don’t have time to think- you only have time to react and enact. There is an instinctual feeling of being in the moment in a completely different way, as if time slows down to almost a crawl.
Two minutes of each round felt like an eternity.
I found myself initially just standing there defending myself while Jan had his way with me. Eventually I was able to move around the ring and keep out of the way of the other pair training in the ring, but must admit that all training so far went straight out the window except for my basic defensive stance and blocks.
I was aware that my mind was all over the place: worrying about what other people might think, embarrassment, and then ultimately my own fear. Rather than thinking, my brain just seemed to stop- I couldn’t think of what to do.
Jan was great- giving me encouragement when I needed it, reminding me to focus and “b-e aggressive” which obviously doesn’t come to me naturally.
Getting hit made me aware of which parts of the body I carry the most fear of contact with, and also that I have plenty to work through with myself before all of this training starts to come together. If it takes me time to regain my awareness within the confines of a ring, then so be it. It made me realise that I need to practice my fundamentals more shadow boxing at home each day until these natural rhythms start to flow into each other.
I have much to learn. Empty what is full, fill what is empty.
It ain’t the destination, its the journey!