I’ve missed a full month of martial arts. That’s the longest period of time I’ve gone without martial arts classes in the eight years since I started practicing. I never thought I could survive that long without it, and in a way, I couldn’t.
But let me go back a few hours. Back to the drive from work to class, when I suddenly became consumed with fear. When I started thinking about staying on the highway, driving past the school, and heading home. I could write, I told myself. I could spend some time relaxing. I could do some much-needed cleaning. I could put off facing class for another two days.
Somehow, I won a battle then. I took the right exit, I made it to the parking lot. I sat in my car, thinking about driving home, but didn’t. I got out my gym bag and, still terrified, walked slowly to the school. I’m so far behind on Animal Set 2, and on Butterfly. I barely remember the drills we were doing before I left. I’ve grown weak. I get out of breath in five minutes. My list of excuses and caveats is unending.
But… I had forgotten that martial arts is more than exercise. It’s more than memorizing forms. It’s more than self-defense or learning to punch or discovering power. I’d forgotten that the school is my family, and that martial arts feeds my soul. How did I forget such important, vital things?
My life has been crazy lately, with Wiscon and the plague and BEA and Blue Heaven and deadlines and work work work… I’ve been emotionally on edge. My mood has been swinging wildly in every direction. And, surprise surprise, I’ve been missing kung fu.
I have a favor to ask. The next time I’m dangerously stressed, or freaking out about something silly, or depressed over nothing in particular, please ask me: Have you gone to class lately? Chances are, that’s what’s missing. A little nourishment for my soul.