Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Memories: Training in a deep freeze
For some reason, my mind, spirit, and heart is revisiting some memories of training at my old Shotokan dojo. I guess it's because I came across a "Leisure Guide" when I was volunteering today, and I noticed that the dojo that I used to teach at is not listed anymore. .. sigh... I guess that the class was cancelled due to renovations of the facility. I wonder what my students are doing now.
I still remember training in a deep freeze in winter boots, and a parka. That was one of the strangest karate moments in my life:
When I had arrived at the main dojo one day, one of my fellow students opened the door to the room, and out blasted freezing cold air as if she had opened the door of a freezer. It seems that the main furnace to that room had broken down over the weekend, and that we were the first people to enter it in 2 days. All of the students stood in the hallway with a look of dismay on their faces as comments like "Wow! That's COLD in there! I'm not going in there! You can't train in that!!!"
I looked into the room, and thought to myself "Hmm.. this isn't that much bigger than my Kyokushin Sensei's garage, and I've trained in there in the cold fall evenings to the point where I was able to warm it up to a comfortable level. Let's see.. If I go jog around in this room, I should be able to warm it up a little."
I walked calmly into the cold, and set my mind, and heart into thinking about warmth as I started jogging around the dojo. I remembered how my Kyokushin Sensei had been teaching us how to mentally place ourselves to handle stressful environments. Sure, I could feel the cold wind passing by my face as I jogged, and the cold cement floor stinging my feet. I added some punching combinations to the jogging to get my arms moving, and then I had to giggle because I was reminding myself of all of those "Rocky" movies where he is training in a fridge. Then I focused, I ran and felt the cold air coming in my nose, and going out warm out of my mouth, and I thought "Wow!!! I'm a portable moving heater!"
Ten minutes went by, and I just kept running in a moderate pace around and around the dojo. I learned which parts of the room were warmer than others. I could already feel a difference in the air that was going into my lungs. It felt slightly less tinged with cold. Or maybe it was my imagination keeping me hopeful.. I'm not sure.
After awhile the room did warm up, and we were able to continue class in our normal gi attire. What a memory!