So, confession time.
I don't believe I have set foot in a dojo for over a year.
I decided in January last year that I needed to take a clear cut break from karate training. I'd been dabbling on and off for months but couldn't seem to get a grip on it. Work commitments skyrocketing alongside other health stuff meant I couldn't give it all I wanted and then felt guilty about not being able to fully get committed to training. I emailed my Shihan and told him I was taking a completely break for a few months.
A year has passed.
I honestly don't know how that has gone so quickly. Literally blink and you've missed it.
A year on and am considerably wider around the waist and considerably less fit than I was when I was at the height of my training. I've been dabbling with running (not great for my knees) and weight training (not great for my boredom level) and can't seem to get to grips with anything fitness-wise.
Still, at the back of my mind, the little inner karateka niggles at me. Can you ever really turn it off once it's awake? Martial arts scenes in TV programmes, videos in my YouTube feed, articles from long forgotten sign ups to martial arts newsletters in my inbox. Every where I look and listen it's whispering at me.
So, after my year long hiatus, I am heading back. I have dusted off my gi, Facebook messaged my (long-suffering and very understanding) Shihan and made arrangements with the husband for childcare duty. I am dojo bound this evening.
I. Am. Terrified.
A year is a long time with no karate practice. I find myself endlessly trying to run through kata in my head (and some of it is far too murky for my liking!).
After some stern self-talk and some deep breaths I conclude that the only route forward is through Shoshin. Beginner's mindset. Forgetting all that's gone before and focusing on relearning from the start. Re-beginning, at the beginning.
The journey of a thousand miles, and all that good Eastern proverb kind of stuff.
Report to follow....