This is Wednesday morning and that means last night was Kung Fu rolls. Lucky for me, we got a break from practicing the fall so we could add a backward roll to the diving roll with a kick.
It may seem rolling over is no big deal and this may be true if you’re 20-something. But I assure you once you pass 50, diving head first into anything is a big deal.
I stood at the back of the line waiting my turn and watched Sifu dive into the roll, kick an (imaginary) opponent in the knee or groin and roll backward and into his fighting position effortlessly. For a millisecond you say to yourself, “I can do that.” Except, then you remember last Wednesday morning.
Things started out pretty well. Even the black belt next in line marveled that I was already diving into the roll and landing on my shoulder using no hands. Then I came backwards. Good lord, I rolled right off the mat. And when we switched to the left side, once again I froze. There is no diving roll onto the left side in my future it seems.
At one point when I was struggling to master a baby roll backwards my head all contorted in the wrong direction, I said to Sifu, “Maybe I’m just too old to do rolls.”
Sometimes when I get discouraged about something at home my husband will say, “There is no crying in baseball.” Last night I think Sifu meant the same thing when he said, “If you can run 26 miles, you can do this.”
You see he is genuinely amazed that I can run a marathon. As much in awe of that feat as I am of his Kung Fu training. It’s the unknown of life that scares us the most. I know what it feels like to run 26 miles. Sifu knows what it feels like to dive onto the ground head first. We both know how to survive what we have done before.
I woke up at 4:30 this morning and lay there very still for a moment assessing the damage. I could feel my neck was sore but my shoulder felt ok. So I’m thinking, maybe I’m getting the hang of this. Then I realized how absurd that sounded. Just because only one part of my body was wrecked certainly didn’t mean I knew what I was doing.
The first article I ever wrote seemed to flow out of me like a river of emotion. The words flew off the tips of my fingers before my mind even thought them it seemed. In that post I said, “….It’s an assurance in themselves that’s unmistakable – not just cocky, but driven to be the best they can be….to truly believe you can train your body to accomplish anything your mind can dream of regardless of age or physical impairments.”
These words came to mind as I was lying there in the quiet of morning. Once I dreamed of being a runner, and now I am. Now I dream of being a warrior, and one day this too I shall be.
So I got out of bed and found an IcyHot patch in my nightstand drawer, placed it over my sore neck and went back to sleep.