It was good finally rejoining everyone at Judo practice yesterday after the conclusion of my month-long internship. Entering the dojo and once again donning my judo gear, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a surge of ambivalence: it felt unequivocally good, of course, coming back to the all-so familiar and homely place we have come to call home, standing on the tatami with the rest of the club – fighting, against the heat, against ourselves and pushing, ever so subtly, to inch towards fuller techniques and better-tuned movements – on the other hand, however, having been away for so long, it was perhaps inevitable that the rest have plowed so far ahead in my absence.
The latter feeling was all the more strong today, when we dived into our weekly gym training session. Everyone has made astounding progress during the time that I was away – adding kilos to their squat thresholds, going in for a record-breaking load on the bench press and so on.
It does make one feel a little left out, but in a wholly good way though: a little friendly competition ‘never hurt nobody’, if you ask me. Time to up the tempo, pace ourselves to finish strong for the remaining two months before giving our all, mind and body for that landmark competition in November. Until then, we will be bulking up and getting stronger everyday so look forward to that!