• Jackie Bradbury

Knocking The Rust Off

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

Due to circumstances - illness, teacher traveling for a couple of weeks, and a family matter that was urgent that took me out of town for most of a week, I haven't been able to train karate in about a month or so.


Monday, all the stars aligned and I finally got back to training.


I'll admit, I was worried. I hadn't been able to practice much and the forms were mushed in my head. The few times I did try to practice I got stuck on little bits that just didn't allow me to visualize how to get past them. I hadn't really swung a bo in all that time (I practiced with shorter sticks that I could use indoors with low ceiling or empty handed).


Pretty sure I looked like this, but with less grace. I don't know the original source of this image, but if you do, please let me know.

I was rusty, really rusty, and I knew it.


Knowing I was rusty made me a little afraid to go to class on Monday. I started rationalizing NOT going - I can practice more and better for the next class on Wednesday, right?


Then when Wednesday came, I'd come up with more excuses and a need to "practice more" over the weekend before the next class.


You guys know what would happen if I allowed that mindset to dominate my point of view.


I would end up NEVER going back.


That would have been a stupid decision, as my teacher is quite excellent and can teach me so much, and I'd bail on him because of my own failings.


I bet this sounds familiar to some of you. I bet a few of you reading this right now are in the same boat. You haven't gone to class in a while, and you're embarrassed that you're going to suck when you get back training. You rationalize to yourself that it's better to get better solo than show up in class and disappoint your teacher or your training partners.


So you ghost the class, and months - maybe years - pass, and you let the opportunity to learn and grow in a hobby you once loved just die.


That is a HUGE, but very common, mistake.


I went to class Monday night, as afraid as I was of embarrassment and disappointment, ready to suck it up.


My teacher was happy to see me. My classmates were happy to see me.


Within a few minutes, working with the rest of the group, I got past those hitches that had been bugging me, and everything slid into place. I can't say I did really WELL but I did at least get through all the things we practiced without having to start all over much. By the end of the night, I was tired and happy and reminded of all those reasons why we train in the first place.


Getting over my fear and stepping back into training, as uncomfortable as it was, is absolutely the right thing to do.


As adults - heck, even as kids - life DOES get in the way sometimes. But don't let your lapse in training become permanent. You can always regain lost skills, and your training partner and your teacher(s) will ALWAYS be happy to see you.


Knock that rust off, get back to class, and get training.


You won't regret it.


Have you had to take a break and then return to training? What were you afraid of? Did you take a break and NOT return? What keeps you out of class now? Let us know in the comments!

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