Thursday, May 9, 2013

day 9: traveling together and alone

Day 9, Thursday: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)

Heading out the door, 5:30 a.m.
     Even for a non-morning person like me, there's something special about waking up with the sun. Two times a week, I wake up early to attend aikido class. It amuses me that when I was working, the earliest I could bear to get out of bed was 5:45 a.m.,while now I consistently get up 45 minutes earlier for something non-work-related. I think that's the key here: there's a sense of play and choice, not work and obligation. This is not to say that studying a martial art is play - it's a lot of hard work, frustration, and discipline. But at the same time, a special kind of camaraderie grows between people who choose to spend time together on the mat. We all first step onto the mat for different reasons - some are seeking spiritual guidance, some are seeking self-defense techniques, and some, like me just about a decade ago, aren't sure what they're in search of -- the search is the point. While we are all looking for something different, we are traveling along the same path (the "do" in aikido can be translated as "path" or "way"), and that's something worth waking up early for.


  1. I've had to stay up late--to write essays---and you're so right; when you are forced to do it, it's torture, but when you are staying up or waking up early to see the sunrise willingly, it seems so beautiful. I've never heard of aikido, but it sounds like a mix of rigorous yoga and self-defense?


  2. i LOVE that time of the morning- it feels like it's just you and the world, and everyone is still tucked in and sleeping. I love that in between time, when it's not really night but it's not morning either. And I totally agree with you- waking up to the alarm clock is way easier when you're actually excited to do that task :)

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  3. Thank you for stopping by, Marlen! You describe that special early-morning time so well. :) I still don't love having to get out of bed that early, but once I'm up, I don't regret it!

  4. Britney - it amazes me how much our motivation affects our attitude and outlook. :) Also, I'm amazed by those folks who can wake up without an alarm clock and are early risers even on the weekends!
    Hmm, although I've been studying aikido for years, it's hard to explain! There are certainly elements that are useful for self-defense, and we also use weapons (wooden staff and sword) as many of the techniques are derived from swordwork. There's also a focus on mind, body, and spirit together - so probably a bit similar to yoga in that regard. :)


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