“It’s as if all of my head was a library filled with books, and they have all fallen off the shelves and I don’t know how to put them back.”
That was me at the tender age of eight. After weeks of being inexplicably angry and frustrated, I came out with this in the car on the way home. My parents found it such a striking metaphor coming from a child that they never forgot it.
I still don’t know what it was that made me so frustrated, but I know that going to judo put an abrupt end to it. Whether it was just an excess of energy, or whether I was simply unchallenged by school and work and was unleashing that irritation on anything nearby is a mystery. I was dragged along to a session by my mother and, in my gi and white belt, found an immediate home. Ten years later I was still happily going, albeit accessorised by a brown belt rather than the plainer white – I was teaching kids how to throw, contemplating my black belt,before all of a sudden I went to university and abruptly everything stopped.
I didn’t wear my gi again for almost four years. I am still unsure why – I very much enjoyed judo but as the time went by I seemed to find excuses not to do any time and time again. I flirted with jiu jitsu, but the love wasn’t there.
Yesterday I went to a judo session for the first time in four years, wearing my gi and a white belt.* It was just like coming home. This whole entry may not have a great deal of point to you but wait, for here it comes.
If you’ve stopped doing something you used to do and you’re not sure why, open a new tab now and find out where you can pick it up near you. No doubt you’ll have the same excuses I did: “oh, I’ve forgotten so much,” or “I’m just so busy, I can’t find the time,” but believe me when I say you’ll remember much more than you think, and that doing so is worth every second. Find the time, give it another chance, and let me know how you go.
*A dangerous white belt I am too, what with that extra ten years of practise. Ho ho ho.