February 09, 2005

A different sort of Kangeiko

In Shintaido, as in other martial arts, we usually have a "cold weather practice" or Kangeiko in Japanese. As LirianFae wrote in her blog:

A lot of people set their "karate new year" as Kangeiko, and that is one of the purposes of Kangeiko.

With that in mind, I was looking forward to traveling to San Francisco in January for a Shintaido Kangeiko. My wife and two daughters were going to come with and visit other friends in the Bay Area while I went to the gasshuku. However, Murphy's Law tends to turn up at the worst times and the day before we left, it was pretty clear that all four of us were sick to varying degrees. No one was bed ridden yet, but the thought of breathing recycled air for a six hour plane flight with who knows how many other sick people seemed like it would get everyone sick in a hurry.

So, we cancelled the trip. No Kangeiko for me.

The weekend the gasshuku was to start, my wife's cold hit full gear. Fever, coughing and just to make matters worse a migraine. Right there it was clear we had made the right decision. Had we gone, she would have been stranded in a hotel room with two semi-sick children to handle while I was gone at the gasshuku. That would have been bad.

That weekend while I knew we had made the right decision, I was still disappointed thinking I could have gone by myself. (It would have been possible, but the girls would have killed me for going to San Francisco without them.)

By the Thursday after the gasshuku was over, my cold finally hit. Congestion, coughing and fever were the hallmarks of my cold. It kept faking me out too. I'd think I was getting better in the morning only to feel worse in the evening. This went on for a week and a half.

In it's own way, being sick provided some of the benefits of going to the gasshuku. At Kangeiko, I usually get to leave the day to day "reality" and immerse myself in keiko. That usually also involves reflecting on life with a bit more detachment and assessing how things are going and what might need to be changed.

I certainly had plenty of time to think and dream while I was trying to sleep away my cold. It certainly pulled out of the usual "reality" and into a different place. Now that I'm feeling better, I just need to hold on to some of the realizations I had and bring them into "reality".

Of course, that's the tricky part...

Posted by rob at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)