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So I deleted that last post I wrote because it sounded like I wasn’t going anywhere. I was just rambling.

My brain has been waterlogged for the past few days. I feel like I have hydrocephalus.

There’s been too much to process lately. I can’t think straight. Everything is going way too fast and I just keep on lagging. Work, family, friends, futures, commitments, my own faults. I want to clear my head but I can’t seem to do it. It feels like I’ve been drugged or something. It’s really frustrating.

What is wrong with you, brain? Wake up, you need to catch up ASAP.

A couple of days ago I had palpitations for no reason (I was just sitting in front of my desk). I couldn’t keep my eyes open and had to put my head down to nap during lunch break (it’s weird, I never sleep at work).

I know it might be because I’m overdoing it. I’ve recently been formally given the task of managing a very, very large project, and failure is not an option. While I am thankful for being trusted with something so big, the pressure and anxiety have been growing slowly. It’s like a balloon that can burst at any moment. What’s worse is that I am having trouble focusing on the things I need to focus on. I have a bunch of worry areas that I need to get rid of, and I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.

All this stress is translating into my other activities.

Take my aikido classes for example. Our teacher had to keep reminding me to relax. I can’t seem to enjoy doing ukemi for throws like I used to. Those are my favorite but now I can’t even do my forward rolls properly. Last Tuesday we did some very basic kotegaeshi and irimi techniques and I kept hesitating in receiving and executing them. I think that my old fear of falling is back. I was so comfortable with ukemi before. I can’t believe how 5 months of no practice has set me back so much. Now, instead of looking forward to practice, I am beginning to dread it.

The drive to keep on moving is my sugar, and I’m sugar crashing.

I went and tried to relax by going to a spa (which I highly recommend doing), but that seems to have been defeated by all the things I tried to accomplish over the weekend.

Maybe I just need more sleep?

I know I’m not alone in this as I have a few friends who are in the same boat. The only difference is that, while they like to talk about their problems (and I like to listen to them), I hate talking about mine.

What I want to do now is drill a hole in my head, let everything spill, and then pick out all the rubbish and throw them all away. I want to scrub the inside of my skull clean. I want to dive into a pool of energy drink and absorb it through osmosis. I want to start fresh again. Reset. Reset. Reset.

The gymnasium where we conduct our classes will stay permanently closed beginning this weekend (and torn down, how sad).  I only had the chance to practice there for roughly a year.  Classes are put on hold until we find a new location for our dojo.  Hopefully we’ll be up and running again by mid-December (or the start of next year at the very least).  As far as I know, no one else in my area has morning classes and I’m going to miss the early morning stretch and all the aikidoka.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do until the dojo opens again, though.  I could go to another place but I have this fear of practicing in other dojos.

Anyway, I had fun during practice yesterday.  It was a little longer than our usual classes.  Like always, I kept messing the techniques up the entire time.  We did some throws from ryokata dori and yokomenuchi and had a few good stretches for cooling down towards the end.  They must’ve required the use of a different set of muscles because I am sooore.

That’s all.  Now it’s time for me to rest.  Good night!

I attended an aikido seminar yesterday where we practiced with a group of foreigners. We did a technique (something like ushiro kubishime throw?) where we had to quickly lift the uke onto the back using the hips (I can’t explain it very well) and then throw him forward.  

My partner was a big guy whom I think weighed more than twice as much as I do.  Normally, the people I practice with are only slightly bigger than I am, so that was something new to me. It also didn’t help that I was very distracted and did not have enough presence of mind to get any of the techniques right.  With the right technique and body mechanics, anyone my size could probably lift anyone his size.  But I messed up and kept using my back.  After the first class I decided to just watch the next one (which I half-regret doing because they performed a lot of cool new variations of painful-looking nikkyo).

Anyway, I went and got a swedish massage for the first time and it was the best!  I don’t know why I never got one before.  It’s helped my shoulder relax, although not completely.  I feel so, so much better.  My upper back and right shoulder have been killing me for the past week.  My muscles were so tense that I was told that my back was as hard as a piece of wood.  I think they’ve been put under too much strain.  I often carry a heavy bag and stay long hours on the computer (and probably don’t stretch enough before class).  I will be going back soon to remove the tension on all of my muscles.

Today, I:

1. Received my first colored belt for aikido.  It’s blue!  I love it.  Thank you sensei!

2. Experienced the most painful sankyo technique I have ever had, complete with cracking fingers and momentary numbness, twice.  I forgot the name but it had an entry similar to uchi kaiten but sankyo is performed midway.  The sankyo hold is maintained while you get dragged down to the mat with just your fingers.  Wow and ouch.

3. Realized that tension at work translates into tension in the body.  Certain events at work has had me on the edge for the past two weeks and I can’t relax!  It’s affecting the way I practice aikido. I need to chill.

Today, I also:

4. Found out that I overpaid my credit card bill, which means I have extra credit to spend!  Hooray 😀 such a nice surprise.

5. Was given a cup of milk tea for free by some people at a spa promoting their milk tea brand, just as I was about to go to the convenience store to buy milk tea for myself.

6. Feel like God is on my side and everything is going according to His plan.  I hope.  It seems like a lot of changes are coming.

Good night, everyone!

We haven’t done any weapons training for aikido class lately because of the exam preparations so I decided to use it as a bokken to practice the basic movements.  I did it outside since I didn’t want to suffer the consequences of accidentally hitting something inside the house.  

It probably wasn’t a very good idea though.  The moment I started, our dogs joined in.  I forgot that sticks meant playtime for them.  Not in the yey-let-me-fetch-the-stick type of playtime, but more of hooray-its-the-bad-guy-with-the-stick-from-protection-training-let’s-rough-house.

So much for practice, oh well.


I recently found out that aikido actually emphasizes spirals rather than circles and thought that this was an interesting article. 

Awesome.  I love how it started off with a discussion on physics and then slowly made a connection to aikido.  My sensei often talked about spirals in certain movements but I never fully understood the concept.  Thanks for sharing!

Aikido and Spirals

During Aikido training, I had to be uke for our sensei.  That was the first time he performed a number of techniques on me without holding much back. Normally he’s softer because I’m a beginner.  He did everything so fast that I couldn’t keep up.  I barely kept myself from falling the wrong way.  The whole time, I was thinking how that was probably how it felt like to get beaten up.  I had visions of The Hulk swinging Loki around (although that’s an exaggeration).  

That got me thinking.  If someone with technique as good as his attacked me, I wouldn’t be able to defend myself.  I would be totally helpless.  I’m going to have to work harder if I want to be able to at least match the “flow.”  I have a long, long way to go.

By the way, I took the exam for 4th kyu a few days ago.  It was nerve-wracking.  We did all the basic techniques in suwari waza and tachi waza.  I know I didn’t give my best performance; I messed up on gyu waza and some of my ukemi.  It’s really annoying how the technique is inside your head and then all that knowledge suddenly disappears just as you’re about to execute it.  Mental block.  The worst thing.  

Still, I’m going to receive my new belt soon.  Hooray! 

I went back to Aikido class after skipping for more than a week.  I got the biggest surprise when I saw an unfamiliar face walking with my sempais when I arrived.  It turns out that the founder of our dojo is back from Japan (although he’s Italian).  I heard that he was known for being a very strict instructor, and it was my first time meeting him.  No one told me he was coming.  Argh.  

Imagine my horror, coming from barely 4 hours of sleep and rusty from not practicing.  I was really unprepared.  It was a good thing that I took my sensei’s advice and arrived early.  

It went better than I expected, though.  He stuck to the basic techniques and I got corrected twice.  I didn’t finish the class because I had to leave early for work.  It would’ve been nice to have been there up until the end— I’m curious as to what else he was going to teach.  Oh well.

So… that’s all for now.  Good night everyone.  🙂

Help is ‘I am reaching down to you.” Support is, ‘I am on your level and I am lifting up.

Gaku Homma

A collection of photos taken this month:

  1. The latest additions to our family- six german shepherd pups
  2. The little Baguio artist colony behind St. Luke’s Medical Center
  3. My new and yet-to-be-named cacti/succulents
  4. Bax, our cute and lovable Belgian Malinois
  5. The Yoshinkan Aikido class that I couldn’t join because I was sick
  6. Sunset at one of the piers at Manila Bay

Bye bye March, hello April!


This is the personal blog of teskaraptor aka bananatree. Yes that's me, a 20-something nurse working in the IT field.
If you ask me to choose one word to describe myself, I would choose "weird."

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