Friday, October 9, 2015

Let's Hear It For The Girls

In my last post, I was pretty unhappy about aikido.  I left class Tuesday night wondering (and not for the first time) if I should just give it the hell up already since it just doesn't come naturally to me even after months of trying.  I had the very definite feeling that a couple of the higher belts had gotten frustrated with my lack of progress and just didn't want to work with me anymore, which as you can imagine is pretty disheartening.  

There's a significant amount of overlap between the people who take aikido and the people who take taekwondo at our dojo.  There are 25 or so aikido students, and I'd say about a third of them study taekwondo as well.  My primary taekwondo instructor is one of these, so when I made the decision to start the second style she shepherded me in socially, introducing me to the very tight-knit crew of female students right upfront.  For their part, they welcomed me into the group with open arms, both the women I'd known before and the ones who were entirely new to me.  

Fast forward to today.  One of the women I hadn't known at all before starting aikido contacted me about something aikido-related today, and I apologized for forgetting to take care of it on Tuesday because I was bummed after class.  She gave me just the loveliest pep talk on the spot, reminding me that I'm new and should cut myself some slack and telling me that she's explicitly talked to the higher belts when having a bad day herself (including one of the higher belts I was worried about) and that they enjoy working with newer students.  That was so what I needed to hear at that moment, I can't even begin to tell you.

After reading her email, I mentioned the substance of it to my husband.  He reminded me that it was the taekwondo girls who got me through the same phase four years ago when I first started taekwondo at the dojo and was fish-out-of-water miserable all the time, a phase I've mercifully mostly forgotten now that I'm borderline competent in that style (although he hasn't, clearly.)  Another reminder I needed to hear, this one in the this-too-shall-pass vein.  So tonight I will put a smile on my face, put my gi on, and try again.  Wish me luck.    

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