Coach | Saturday Adventures

Hello everyone,
So here’s the deal: I’m going to try my best to post at least one post a week. It may be a poetry breakdown, a quick piece, a quick piece breakdown, or just Saturday adventures. It’s difficult especially with various stresses, but thank you for sticking with me!

For this week’s Saturday Adventure, I’m going to start with yesterday because it was pretty exciting. In the evening, I got the opportunity to see one of my favorite singers, Mat Kearney with Parachute opening. The concert was at a little stage just off campus and I was surprised how small the place was and about 100 people showed up. With that being said, I managed to get pretty close to the stage. The lighting was beautiful and it played with the music well. Plus, I felt that the crowd was pretty active and was willing to engage with the performing artists.

If my ninth grade self saw my sophomore-in-college-self at the concert yesterday, she would probably say “Your dancing sucks, but at least you’re so happy!” I sang along with every song, interacted with the band when they asked to sing certain parts and I waggled around. Parachute had a similar style to Mat Kearney with a little more teenage angst. They teased the crowd who were majority female. When Mat Kearney came on stage, it just felt so surreal! How could one of my favorite singers be nearly five feet away from me at a cold city? Plus, he sang a couple of my absolute favorite songs and I felt chills running down my spine. He was pretty goofy whenever he talked to everyone. During one of the songs, he held up a disco ball to multiple beams of light, making a temporary disco party – as if it weren’t a party already!

I still cannot believe that he came and I went to see him!

Flash forwards to this afternoon when none of the other advanced members could make it, so I got to coach the five beginners who came. It was pretty fun and interesting as I got to experiment with my teaching style and how I interacted with the beginners. I made sure to go over the basics while changing things up from the usual coaching from the past couple of weeks. I know I won’t be coaching very often, but it was a nice experience. I made sure to personally talk to them and encourage them. Being a martial artist isn’t easy because there’s the entire confidence about whether or not you’re doing it right and with kendo, the fear of hurting someone or yourself. So, I decided to give them mini pep talks and to empower them for they are samurai! Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

Thanks for coming along with me!

Alice

PS. During the concert, someone grabbed the wrong arm and grabbed mine instead haha

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Sensei | Saturday Adventures

This Saturday, it was revolved around the cold weather and kendo practice. When I woke up this morning, I was sad that it was so grey out and after I pulled open the blinds, I saw snow falling from the grey masses. Today marks the day that snow marked the grounds of my university. After all, we are one of the snowiest cities. Then, I hauled my laundry around in a giant backpack making me feel like a mountain climber. As I was coming back to my apartment after doing laundry with all my warm clothing stuffed in the bag, I could feel the heat leaching onto my back and I suppose it was nice.

Then, I got everything ready and went to kendo practice. Today, we had a high ranked member from another school come practice with us and it was a good experience as he was able to give us great pointers since he doesn’t usually practice with us so he was able to give us a new perspective. I got the chance to spar with him and it was really cool because he was so much better than me, so I gave it my all. In the end, he said that he liked how aggressive I was and that I should be careful since I could burn out very fast. That’s the first time someone said to be careful about how aggressive I was because I am usually told to be more aggressive. Also, as I’ve been working on my kiai for the past two weeks, I can now scream like either a angry goat, an anguished singer or a banshee. Now I have to make sure I don’t strain my voice. Afterwards, we went to have Bubble tea as a tradition of our kendo club.

Thanks for coming along with me!

Alice

For Now | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I’m back again, writing poems. I’m a little rusty with my poetry because in my writing classes, we’ve mainly been focusing on lyrical essays and flash non-fiction. But hey, I figured I would get back to the swing of things – my first writing form: the poem.

“For Now”

Once I was sitting on a park bench,
my mind flooded with
shopping lists
whether I have enough money
a growing hunger
homework I have to do
and if I have time.
A breeze rustles through the leaves
brushing my face
and touching my fingers
like a stray thought.
The golden leaves twinkle
and glisten in the radiant sun
contrasting the oceanic sky.
My mind settles
and all I can think of
is how glad I am able to be sitting on a park bench
under a canopy of fiery gold
without a worry –
just for now.

We’re in the middle of fall right now and if it’s not raining, then it’s a beautiful day with the radiant sun, green grass, cool breeze and blue skies. Everything is so picturesque, but they’re also kind of rare as we’re also in a rainy season. The rain pours heavily and the skies become very menacing and grey. Since my university is very hilly, the rain flows down making sure that everyone’s shoes stay wet. I need to get some wellies.

This poem is focusing on the beautiful side of things and as all of you may know from my absence, I’ve been very busy. Most of my days consist of me leaving my apartment at 9 in the morning and not getting back until 12 hours later. When I get home, I don’t have the energy to write or even do homework. I try to do as much as I can before starting a new day with adequate sleep. Yet, there are times in which I get a break. Even though my breaks can be between 1 hour and 3 hours, it’s nice to just sit outside if the weather permits. Just taking everything in and having things slow down makes you really appreciate everything you have at the moment, causing you to run around like a madman.

Essentially, make sure you take time to appreciate the beautiful world. Hey, rain can be soothing and cozy too. It’s what you make of situations and in times when I’m feeling especially overwhelmed, I try to look at things in a lighter and brighter perspective. Even if it’s for that moment, you still have that moment to calm down and really take time for yourself. Appreciate what you’ve been given and keep moving forwards.

I hope you have a lovely day!

Alice

One Month Catch-Up | Saturday Adventures

Woah, I haven’t been keeping you updated with my life! I’m sorry about that, but as it goes for a university student, I’m pretty busy. I’ve also tried to keep my routine and schedule all figured out. For me, it takes me quite some time to adjust to a place even though I’ve been there before. Anyways, here’s a month and a week’s worth of my life!

September 12th was the second practice for kendo club. I was glad that the turn out for the second day matched the first day and the beginners were very eager. What kind of unnerved me was that I was literally in their spot a year ago and now I walk among the previous members in full armor and uniform. My roommate, also a fellow “second year kendoka” is probably tired of my constant revelations. I can’t stop! I won’t stop! Since I’m also the president, there are a lot of administrative work I have to do from reserving spots for a Sports Club Fair to sending tournament information. It’s a lot, but I know how much work goes into running a club.

On September 19th,there was kendo practice again and we started to get more serious. The coach trained me specifically and he wanted me to get used to being hit. To the beginners, it looked like he was punishing me since I wasn’t hitting back, yet it was a lesson. For that entire week, I had been dealing with some health difficulties and I’ve gone to the health center to get it checked out and I’m okay. I’ll have to see what the blood test says.

On September 26th, my parents came to visit me which was nice. They made my apartment feel even more like home. My parents brought a lot of food for me including some organic tomatoes and even a frozen pizza for lunch since I have a kitchen in the apartment. We didn’t do much except sit around in my apartment and just enjoy each other as a family. Sometimes all it takes is just being together again. Afterwards, I had a kendo practice and I was told to be more aggressive as per usual.

On October 3rd, I was at a retreat with Cru and it was at a camp on the edge of a beautiful lake. It was a little chillier than my college, but the sight and time spent with friends was definitely worth it. I got to see my good friend whom I don’t usually have a chance to see very often because we’re both very busy. The worship was amazing and the speaker really helped me refocus. In the evening, we got the opportunity to learn various line dances and how to square dance. It was a lot of fun enveloped in confusion. We just went with the flow. I was surprised that I took up the courage to dance because I typically don’t like putting myself out there like that.

Today, I woke up early with my roommate and we decided to go to a mini-class where we learn how to make stone tools. It was called flintknapping. I wanted to go because I thought it would be interesting and she went to get extra credit for her class. We came late, but we got to see a skilled guy smash a rock against another rock to make a pointed rock. Then, we got the opportunity to do it ourselves. I couldn’t help but think that one doesn’t belong – the one being me, an English major. In the atrium, there was a symphony of rocks clashing with other rocks and a low murmurer of questions and affirmations. An hour and a half later, my roommate and I have tools we were both satisfied with – mine resembling a semi-sharp arrowhead. It was an interesting experience to attend. Then, I had lunch at a Mexican/Chinese restaurant (one of a kind here) with some of my friends. There was a moment when my friend and I kind of zoned out on my poor friend who was in the middle of eating a chip, causing her to choke on the chip because she was laughing so hard. After that fiasco, I went to practice and trained some more with the beginners. Unfortunately, as I was sparring, I fell over which was pretty embarrassing and painful. Next week, I’ll be stronger! 😀

Well, what I’ve come to during my month at my school was that everyday can be an adventure!

I hope you find some great adventure today!

Alice