About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Chapter 80: When saying 'No' does not make you weak.... sometimes you just have to go with the flow

Those of you who visit regularly here know that 4 years ago I was diagnosed with endometriosis after years of pain and illness. Since diagnosis I have been encouraged to try and conceive to help my symptoms, with no success. To cut a very long story short at the beginning of last year I had IVF treatment and right from the start I was not well at all and it ended in Ovarian Hyperstimulation (OHSS) which is a serious complication and I was hospitalised as a result. This last year has therefore been a very long year of both healing and pain.

As a result of the OHSS, it would appear that this has triggered the endometriosis to grow back - big style. So this last year has been trying to find what works for me and frankly failing at it. Due to the pain and fatigue I could not train for Aikido and could do even less for Iaido which means effectively putting gradings and seminars on hold. Oh yes, and the guilt and feeling that my club mates were leaving me behind. So I was in a vicious circle. Pain, fatigue, pain, fatigue.

But there comes a point of where you have to stop looking at what cannot be done, and working at what can. I started teaching kids Aikido again, and they now enjoy the class so much that many of them come 15-20 mins early- just to practise! And we seem to be multiplying in numbers, they bring their friends, their cousins, anyone they know in fact to class. This is great as an Aikido coach, not so great if you're a Mudan in Iaido who really really needs to practise. But we go with the flow right?

So with this in mind as I really needed help other than painkillers, I've gone back to using Prostap, so am effectively now in a medical menopause. It is helping a little, but still struggling with the pain each day.  But hey, I managed 5 burpees at Aikido at the start of March and last week managed 10 (sort of, before landing in a very dignified 'splat'). So what? some would say, but that could not have happened a year ago. So we are healing, and we are accepting that this is where we are and we have to work with that.

When people hear that I'm still in the dojo, they are amazed. But I don't train for anything other than for me at the moment and it's strangely liberating in a way. I can just enjoy Aikido and Iaido for me. I can enjoy bringing other Aikidoca on. It doesn't matter that I should now be 1st Dan working towards 2nd Dan. This is me. Fighting and battling on, because that's what I'm good at.

There will be those who argue what's the point of training if you may not ever grade again? Here's the thing - any martial art is a lifelong learning journey seeking and striving for perfection. We never achieve this as we simply don't live long enough. We also never stop learning. A decision to grade or not is a personal one, and part of  our own journey. For me, if I was to achieve my 1st Dan in Aikido that would be a huge achievement and not just because of ongoing health issues. Aikido has taught me so much about 'going with the flow'. So this me- doing what I do best, 'going with the flow'.