Tag Archives: dojo

Baby Steps

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA As of yesterday, I am five months smoke free. (Pause for applause. “Thank you, thank you very much,” she says in her best Elvis voice.) And I’ve finally got some time off from work, so I have devoted this week to exercise. On Monday, I did Pilates and a step class at the gym. On Tuesday, I started a 30 day squat challenge. On Wednesday, I had my first yoga lesson with Kelly, who is a wonderful person, teacher and addition to my life. On Thursday, I did boxing and kicking classes at the dojo.

When I woke up this morning, I could barely move. My sore muscles have sore muscles, but I feel wonderful. One of the side effects of detox is sometimes crippling depression. This is normal and people quit longer than me keep saying it will pass in time, I just need to stay strong, take deep breaths, wait it out.

I hadn’t been to kicking class, and consequently hadn’t seen Sensei, for a couple of months. Part way through class, he looked at me and said, “Eda-san, you’re different. You’ve changed, and not in a bad way.” I just smiled, but I knew what he meant. As I work my way out of my nicotine-addled funk, I am discovering a whole other Eda I had forgotten about. She’s smarter, funnier, prettier because she smiles more. She’s gentler, kinder, more at peace.

The battle isn’t over yet, probably never will be. The nicodemon still lurks in dark corners and leaps out at me, much the way Twitchy attacks my toes at unexpected moments, but I can swat him away the same way I do her. The depression monster still wraps himself around my throat and squeezes, but it’s happening less often. Instead, in recent days, I have unexpected moments of happiness. I can’t think of anything to call it besides joy. I am finally free of that wretched addiction and can start to make my way down the path toward discovering myself and who I am without the chemicals.

It’s a journey that requires no suitcases, taxis, passports, visas, or plane tickets and all of the travel takes place inside my own head, but the destination is worth every iota of effort and pain it takes to get there.

Fifty Days

I had a good week. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, I had several rather nice moments in my professional life. I am building both my confidence and my reputation as a director and loving it.

On Wednesday, there was a new instructor at the dojo, so Yamamoto-san introduced everyone. “That’s Sato-san. She’s new but a pretty good puncher. That’s Suzuki-san. He hits pretty well but isn’t so great with the mitts yet. That’s Eda-san. She’s good at both gloves and mitts, so you don’t have to worry about her.” Purr.

On Friday, a good looking man (they are rare) smiled and waved at me in the station. It took me a minute to recognize the waiter from Jolly Pasta out of uniform.

A doctor visit on Thursday revealed that my cholesterol is down to an acceptable level, my exhaled CO level is down from 29 to 2, and I have only gained 3 pounds.

As of today, I am smoke-free for fifty days, so I offer you some pretty pink flowers to celebrate. I am smiling. I hope you will join me.PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

A Dojo Tale

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday was the last day of classes at the dojo for this year. To celebrate, Sensei planned special classes. There was a 90 minute boxing class, which I didn’t do, followed by a 90 minute Fighting Exercise class, which I did. I was right up front because even in a room full of little Japanese people, I’m still smaller than almost everyone else. Being right up front means I have to try not to make any mistakes, but of course I did. Ninety minutes of punching and kicking is a long time.

Head spinning, I dashed home to take a shower and then we all met up at Jyuppo (Ten Steps).

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAThere were over thirty of us and we managed to consume mass quantities of food and alcohol. Everyone got rather silly and had a lot of fun.

Dojo parties are interesting. The only thing we all have in common is that we’re strong. We all have different professions and come from different backgrounds, especially me. There have been other foreigners over the years, but this year I was the only one. I am perfectly comfortable with that, and I think most of the others are, too. But I do get the occasional dopey comment, like “Gee, you’re really good with chopsticks.” I just smile, but am tempted to say, “Yes, I’m glad I finally learned. I used to lap my food straight out of the dish like a dog. It was really embarrassing.”

There were some good conversations, though. I met a woman whose family name is Eda. I had heard that the name is fairly common but had never met one. I suggested that we get married so I could be Eda Eda. She didn’t realize right away that I was joking.

A Gift from the Universe: I think I worked out a deal with Shimizu-san, the best masseur I’ve ever come across, whereby I will teach his kids English and he will give me free massages. I don’t much enjoy teaching kids, mostly because I’m not very good at it, but still, think I got the sweeter end of that deal.