Ah Saturday morning at the New York Aikikai
The weekends here are special becuase I get to sleep in until 8:00 instead of 6:00! Might not sound like much but when you think that I get to sleep in two more hours than usual, it's really nice! So I'm up at 8, I'm usually the first one, I mop the mats and start my daily laundry regiment of folding towels and hanging gis. Toshi usually stumbles down around 9:00 or so and he's gotten in the habbit of sending me down the street for coffee and breakfast for the two of us, he pays. Kids class starts at 9:30 and the adult classes don't start until 11:00 so I've got more time than usual to wake up. Yamada Sensei got back from Argentina yesterday so hopefully he be teaching both of his classes today!
The weather is starting to get cold...I'm sooo scared! I'm from the South, this kind of thing doesn't happen! The 6:00am classes are sooo cold, maybe around 30 degrees and all we have is a little radiator in the back of the room that doesn't help too much. The mats are extremely hard and my joints get so stiff. This should be interesting! I start to warm up and move normally about 20 minutes into class but getting to that point is a slow process.
We're already starting to prepare for the Christmas Seminar which from what I understand is rather legendary. Maybe I should clarify, the parties afterwords are legendary! Sugano Sensei is scheduled to teach during the seminar! That will be the first time that he's been on the mat since I've been here. He'll drop by every week or so just to take a look but he hasn't taught yet. Along with the classes and the party comes testing. Everyone is starting to get ready for tests again and this time there are Dan tests (blackbeslt testing). I was asked by a friend if I was going to test and I don't think that's gonna happen. I tested for 3rd kyu about a week before I came up here so I definitely don't have the hours unless Yamada Sensei just springs it on me. I honestly don't think i'm up for it anyway.
A good friend of mine asked me if I've adopted the NY Aikikai attitude yet. Well yes it's starting. I'm kinda scared honestly. I really don't want to become one of the unforgivingly rough people like the other deshi but she was right, I have to train harder to get that same feeling, those endorphines. Some people that I used to train with when I first got here don't really train with me anymore cause i'm...too fast paced...a bit more rough...i don't really know. HUGE difference in ukemi too, of course. Like I've been saying it's really just for self-preservation, I have to learn how to protect myself from some of the people here. ooo that's another thing, most of the people that down-right scared me when I got here are not too terrifying anymore, I can usually hang with them. People that took real lazy ukemi for me when I first got here now have to take breakfalls. So I'm starting to see it.
And now the Holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving is coming up and I'll be taking about a week off to see family and friends. I'll be getting back to Atlanta on Monday the 21st and I'll train there for Richard's class on Monday night and I'll catch Kennedy Sensei's classes on Tuesday, I'm so excited, we're all going to have to go out for pizza and beer afterwords. I'll head up to my Grandparent's farm on Wednesday for Turkey Day and I'll try and head back down to ATL for Eric's class on Friday night then it's back to NYC on Saturday night to get back into the swing of Deshi life. Can't wait to see everyone soon and train!! Don't worry Gina, I'll make it down there at some point, I've got lots of neat trick to show you!