Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Aikido = Guitar?

I went to my first Aikido class last night. As expected, it was pretty hard, but it was largely a mental challenge rather than a physical challenge.

Now, it's always hard learning something new, but I have no aptitude for this sort of thing at all. I may have some innate musical aptitude (near-perfect pitch, for example)which helps me along with the guitar, but kinesthetic stuff?

Let me put it this way: back in high school, when I was in the musicals, learning the dance choreography for the chorus parts always made me cry.

Aikido is just like that. I'm not a spatially-inclined sort of person, so to watch two people attack and defend, and try to figure out what they are doing, is not the best way for me to learn.

But, thankfully, there was time for one-on-one practice, where I sorta started to learn what I was supposed to be doing. And I did see places where I was improving during the lesson, which was also helpful. The teachers were very gentle, and very encouraging with the positive feedback and corrections. Even so, it was a struggle not to get really, really frustrated. Scratch that. To not show how frustrated I was. Lots of deep breathing to keep the growing anxiety at bay.

The reason I'm learning Aikido (and playing guitar) is not because it's easy, but because it's hard. I know I'm going to totally suck at first, but if I keep at it, I'll continue to get better. It doesn't really matter what it is I'm learning. And learning how to keep my calm when doing something really, really, hard.

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