“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.


2 responses to “Judo

  1. I only just found this entry. It’s entirely true though – I stopped doing music almost completely throughout my first year in Home City and my first year at Uni; I honestly think the lack of music was a contributory factor to why I was so unhappy all that time and it was then utterly restorative when in my second year I joined the orchestra and the choir – and haven’t really looked back :). How’s your judo these days?

    • Sadly, final year completely obliterates time to do any regular clubs – I’m never in a place longer than 8 weeks and am in City I Lived for the occasional weekend. There is just no way I can hold down a club of any kind regularly, and that’s before factoring the workload.

      F1 may be different, but for now judo (and all my other hobbies, basically) are in stasis. No wonder everyone in my flat atm is going a bit stir crazy.

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