It’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. Life stuff happened, and the truth is that other things have been a higher priority for me, for reasons both valid and those that are kind of BS. I know, I’m not supposed to say that. Feels weird even writing it. I’m supposed to say “I didn’t have time”, that’s the socially acceptable phrase for not doing something.
Culturally, we’re really comfortable with the idea of being so busy we can’t do things, much more so than with prioritising certain things to the exclusion of others by choice. “I don’t have time” is the socially acceptable – and legit less harsh if it’s someone else asking for something – version of “that’s not a priority for me at the moment”. Or more accurately, it might be a priority, but I’m spending what time (or other resources) I have available on other things which are more of a priority to me. Ok, mini rant over. Bottom line, blogging was not as much of a priority for me as other things that got the necessary time and attention instead.
Doesn’t have that much to do with the pandemic situation, except for the peripheral impact on mental state etc. I’m fairly introverted, so on the whole, the current lifestyle agrees with me. Although it’s been long enough I was really having a slump the first two months of this year. Other factors too, but pandemic/lockdown fatigue was in the mix. But really, I mostly like my wife, my dog and my friends, and many of the latter live scattered all over the world anyway, so social isolation is not affecting me as much as some people. Shout out to my extrovert friends, I feel for you… And there have been plenty of silver linings. Which brings me to what I have been/am up to, martial arts and training wise.
One of the positives has definitely been the increased availability of online training. I’ve been able to do more (and cheaper) CPD for keeping up my professional qualification than in the last few years combined, with more choice of topic, which has meant lots of high quality training on financial crime and fraud prevention, amongst other things. There have been some really amazing groups for martial arts & SD that come together online, which has meant really cool opportunities to hear about and try new martial arts, do some teaching and reconnect with a few aspects of martial practice I’d lost touch with a little bit over the years.
It’s also been nice for opportunities to access training, even with dojos closed. I’m participating in six hours of physical online classes per week at the moment, trying to pick up some Bagua with Ed Hines and online Aikido classes with a friend who is an excellent instructor (that one is mostly conditioning – Aikido is… not ideal… for solo training). Plus one dance class, SD training calls five days a week and some solo training. Together with a lot of walking, courtesy of the dog, I’m probably in better shape than I’ve been for a while, and pretty happy with my training.
I hadn’t realised that wasn’t quite the case before, with most of my recent training being solo or through seminars – don’t get me wrong, I love seminars, but I’ve missed regular classes, and this way I can be picky who I train with. The last local dojo I tried was ok for teaching quality, but most of the students acted like I had just sat down at their regular table at the pub, from the moment I walked in. The quality of training feedback from partners was equivalent to the attitude. The teacher was good, but why would I spend time in that place? One of the wonders of the internet is that it gives us so much more choice of who we interact with on a regular basis, and right now I’m really taking advantage of that.
Having said all that, I’ve actually done a bunch of writing, just not published anything. So now I get to go through and edit, pull together and finish a whole bunch of writings in varying states of completion. I have a couple of related projects that I’m dusting off, was on a podcast that should be releasing at some point (ha, that apparently released while I was writing this. Will share the link soon), things like that So more stuff coming soon. This is back to being a priority for me.