Readying us to start, he psyched us with the following one-liner that packed more than a punch, “Remember, since all of you are at different fitness levels, the opponent you should be aiming to beat is yourself.” I am sure I speak for the club when I say that it was a thrilling, albeit slightly draining, experience that day, burning up the track, blazing our ways to the finish in a race to outdo ourselves. Not to mention, it was only the first training for the year, and if we are able to keep this pace, I have no doubt that we will only keep getting better, not just as individuals, but as one united collective.
A good run and many exhilarating exercises later, we found ourselves back in the dojo, wrestling our partners in foundational drills to iron out the finer points in our techniques. It was back to basics, with our kind OBs, Nakata-san, Ueda-san, Terada-san and Yamagishi-san, as well as spirited visitor, Sugimoto-san, delivering much appreciated advice on the areas of improvement that we should be aiming towards.
Having just a good start isn’t nearly enough by itself, of course – you also need a solid finish, and nobody understands that better than our coach, who asked us to state our goals for the new year before the day’s training drew to a close.
While the techniques that we are aiming to master differ from individual to individual, the goals and desired outcomes we have for the club are unanimously the same: that is, to further bolster the strength of the club as a whole by recruiting as large a gang of rowdy youngsters as possible to fill up the whole club room with even more laughter, energy and motivated determination, and do our best together for the competitions that lie ahead in 2013.
2013, here we come!