I went to the dojo Thursday after work. It was everything I remember it being and more. It was single handily the best thing I have done in the past two months. That includes sex. So much better than sex.
I got there a little early. The kid’s class was still going on. I smiled at a few people that I remembered. Some of them greeted me. I put my bag down in the locker room then took up my seat against the wall. I don’t wait on the secondary mat like a lot of the guys do. I like being off to the side, on my own, my back against something. Especially with Thursday being my first day back, I wanted the space.
I started getting a little anxious as more and more new people started coming into the dojo. There were at least six other girls, none of who I knew. I was worried they were all there for submission grappling. I was worried the dojo had changed drastically in the past two months and that I really was an outsider.
The kid’s class ended, I got my card for signing in, most of the people stayed on the second mat and started doing a conditioning class with a new instructor and only five other guys stepped onto the primary mat for NoGi.
I knew three of them pretty well. They were guys I had sparred with before and it made it feel like coming home to bow in with them.
My sensei greeted me warmly and welcomed me back. I made it through the whole warm up without being overly winded, that included doing the front and back rolls that I couldn’t do before the personal training sessions with MG. We worked a technique that built off of back mount, a position I’m fairly comfortable with. We then went into the sparring phase of class.
Instead of three-minute rounds, we did six-minute rounds. I didn’t think I would be able to last through them but not only did I last, I legit, hardcore tapped out my first partner. It was the first tap out that I feel like I earned rather than being given to me by a higher belt. It was an awesome feeling and the chick even came up to me at the end of class and said, “That was a good choke.”
My response was, “Oh. Thanks,” like we were talking about a cute skirt or something. “Oh. Thanks. It has pockets!”
The last round was a 3 minute round where I went up against one of the former instructors. He used to compete in Muay Thai tournaments. He tapped me out about halfway through the round but complimented my defense and gave me pointers for next time. I felt like I did pretty well and held my own against him.
I thought about staying for the Muay Thai class but decided against it. I needed to eat and drink. I hadn’t had a training session that intense in a while so I played it cautious and went home.
It was an amazing class. I could feel an improvement in my body. I might not have been going to the dojo for two months, but I’ve been going to Title Club and doing bag work. I’ve been doing the personal training at my new gym with L. I’ve been “doing” a lot and I could feel a difference. I was more coordinated. I was more agile. I was more sure of myself.
I was a lot of things. Relieved, pleased, confident, content, accepted.
I was home.
Even as I left and said goodbye to my sensei I knew that I was back. I was home. I was still welcome. I don’t know why I let work take me away for as long as it did. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did without the dojo and my pseudo-family.
All I know is I’m glad I went and I’m glad I’m still going to go.
There’s more that’s happened between Thursday and today, like having my wallet stolen, but it’s 9 pm and I wake up at 2 am and I actually am getting pretty tired. I’ll try to write more later. Not tomorrow since I get to see Big Bad, but maybe Tuesday.