Balance

It could be age.

It could be the fact that I spent the past week recovering from a slight head cold (the musings about which I'll save for another entry).

Or it could be that I've succumed to the environs of Sunny Southern California and lost all tolerance for temperatures outside of that 10 degree range of about 63F - 73F.

Because I cannot see how people can make it through two classes back to back!!!!

So far it's been enough for me to haul my body back to the changing room to stand under the shower watching the steam wisp off my shoulders for a good 7 minutes. Granted, I have also managed to go salsa dancing after, but that was way after, not 30 minutes after.

I've spent this week trying to get used to what my body wants of me. The further along I've gotten, the more the list has narrowed down. It's getting to the point where I need like five gallons of water and a salt lick. 

So I've taken up eating lemons. Not a slice here and there with my cup of tea, whole, entire - I cut them into wedges and munch on them in front of the tv while the other hostel residents watch with raised eyebrows - lemons.

In fact, what I'm experiencing here is just another chance to find balance. More practice, if you will. Balancing food and water, eating only when it won't make me nauseated. Balancing distance and money. Which is better, to stay for free a good 35 minute train-ride from the dojo (add more time for walking, etc.) and pay more for transport, or to stay at a hostel located a few stops away? And balancing my practice schedule. Since apparently I can't yet make it through 2 classes back to back, I'm going to need to find a way to get to both a morning and evening practice with dry keiko gis. This will require some thought and planning and maybe a favorite locker in a metro station.

Actually I found an interesting representation of this aspect at Hombu. The dojo, the room itself, has no air-conditioning.  So you get hot, maybe a little nauseated. You are drenched with sweat and your body feels heavy no matter what technique you're doing.  So you forego speed for stamina. No one runs at their partners, or runs to line up or to find a partner. No one is in any hurry because you have very little "break time" while the sensei is demonstrating and you want to keep practicing and you want to last the whole class.

And besides! - soon you'll be able to shed that gi that's soaked up 5 pounds of your body weight, and for those who wish, there are showers in the dressing rooms.

But here is the balance: No air conditioning in the dojo. No hot water in the showers!!

Андрей Минаков
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