Aikido · health · injury · martial arts

Fail again, fail better?

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

It’s been a very rough winter. I won’t go into all the horrible details but one of my dogs drowned (fell through the ice on the river) and a dear relative died. (See Rough times, tough choices for some of the back story.)

And when bad things happen,  they tend to cascade. We didn’t go cycling in southern Arizona. There was a memorial service to attend instead. Not to mention a polar vortex and a ton of snow to endure. Instead of rowing, I’ve been running. On snow and ice. I’ve injured my knee. No CrossFit Open for me. (The plan? The CrossFit Open: Wish me luck! Instead, ouch.) I’ve also gained back the weight I lost doing the Lean Eating program, and as usual, more. Sigh. (Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating Program: A Year in Review.) Not unexpected given what we know about weight loss. I don’t think weight has anything to do with fitness, and that’s a good thing.

Fitness took a bit of a hit but so too did research, teaching, and lots of other things I care about. Sometimes family comes first and this was definitely one of those years. I don’t regret my choices.

So sigh but I’ll be okay. I’m tough. I’m resilient. I bounce back. This is one of my strengths. I know that.

But in the midst of all this bad stuff, there’s one piece of brilliant news I just have to share: I learned how to forward roll in Aikido! My forward break falls now work. It’s thanks to Sensei Jon’s brilliant tip which led to me controlling my fall more rather than smashing my shoulder into the ground. Rolling has never been easy for me. See Six Things I Love about Aikido and Six Things I Struggle With for details. But I did it! I did it! And I’ve done it a few times since. I might even post video. Later.

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11 thoughts on “Fail again, fail better?

  1. There’s something almost poetic about the fact that in the midst of all these hard times this winter you learned how to forward roll. Here’s hoping that with the spring comes some smoother waters and fairer winds. 🙂

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  2. Sorry for your losses, Sam. I feel for you also on the weight and fitness front. I’m so afraid of getting injured and being out of commission. As Tracy has suggested, it’s amazing that you roll with the punches so well, and that perhaps you’re even getting better at it!

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  3. I’ve been reflecting on this post all day. It strikes me that it isn’t so much a failure as a testament to how fitness has fed your resiliency & wellness.
    You’ve rolled with the punches, litterally and figuratively, and they have not been trivial hiccups (like my mismatched sock days). That you & your loved ones are not only surviving but thriving & finding joy is the best achievement anyone could hope for. The fitness stuff feeds all that and sometimes has to take the back burner but you’ve kept it on the stove and that’s pretty amazing.

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  4. Lovely reminder to take joy in seemingly small things. I have been on a similar (or maybe not: 10+ years) journey with headstand. Finally in the room, unsupported, thanks to encouragement from teacher and friends (thx Tracy). May fall and fail again. But will get back up (upside down that is).

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  5. As so many of your posts Sam, this one met my heart right where it is at… like Tracy said, I love the idea that you learnt to roll forward… may we all learn to do that better this year..

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