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Crossed Swords on a Rainy Night

The joy of living in Maryland is knowing traffic here has two speeds - 80+ mph and 20mph. 20 miles an hour is reserved for rain (not snow . . . people here think four wheel drive means drive as fast as I want on the white stuff). It was pouring out there a bit ago, so as soon as there was an accident on the Balt-Wash Parkway, everyone spilled over onto the other roads and immediately turned I-95 into a parking lot.

Luckily for me, I had just managed to get home before the insanity got too bad. Unfortunately, my kendo partner did not. (Took him almost an hour and a half to go eight miles tonight . . . as I said, insanity.) So, I decided to head to kendo by myself, hoping he'd make it there late.

I arrived late due to traffic, natch, and also unfamiliarity with the roads. Chris always drives, so I wasn't used to spotting the landmarks by myself. When I walked in, I noted they were just getting started and there weren't many people there I knew. The early class is for beginners, but usually the senior students are there to assist. I only saw two people I knew with the beginners. So, I stretched and joined the early class to serve as a target for the beginners to whack on. (The joys of owning bogu (armor).)

The beginning class wound up at 8 and I looked around and there were no senior students. Phillip, who had been drafted to run the beginning class as the senior-most person there offered to stick around if anyone wanted to practice more and one of the non-ranked students, John, stayed.

We set up a triangle formation and took turns partnering up. We went through the basic waza (techniques)and then went over a few more advanced. For having been off for four weeks due to work and the snow, I was surprised that I was keeping up as well as I did. I had to take one short break, but I made it to 8:45 before I had to call it a night. John and Phillip did a couple more advanced techniques and then did some sparring before we stopped at 9pm.

I have a long way to go to get the body back into shape and I definitely need to work on footwork and timing, but things are coming back mentally. My brain knows what I should be doing and I'm seeing things when I was watching the other two working together. It's just a matter of getting the body up to speed.

I think I'm doing fairly well keeping the center line and pushing the opponent with my spirit. I know I actually got Phillip, (a nidan) to move a couple of times when I wanted him to, but I think he got me more often. *grin* John, for a non-rank, is coming along nicely. I think he'll do well on his first test.

They wanted to know if I was going to compete in the tournament at William and Mary at the end of March. I politely begged off on that. There is a local tournament in June or July that I may try my hand at. Lord knows, I should be in reasonable shape by then. I doubt I'm going to be testing for higher rank anytime soon.

I have to remind myself, a four (almost five) year layoff is not going to be overcome in a few weeks and I'm a tad older and heavier than I was back then. (Hah! Listen to me thinking wistfully about being in my 40s again.) I'm starting to set intermediate goals for myself - 1st one is to make it all the way through a practice without having to set out. Then, we'll worry about hand and foot speed.

Little steps. Little steps.

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