WEEK 9: Dance Of The Bread

WEEK 9: Dance Of The Bread


After last week’s thorough session, I weighed myself the following morning and I was 12st 12lb. I was 13st two months ago. Was this the step in the right direction I’d been hoping for? By this morning though, I was 13st 1lb. I’d obviously spent the next few days in a false sense of security – and because of this, I’ve been eating a lot of bread. Bread, with more butter than is strictly necessary, and preferably from the toaster, is what I mainly eat.

Today as usual was my Lively Thursday. After getting the magazine to the printer on Tuesday, working at the weekend to keep on top of work amounts and doing little in the way of exercise, today I woke up with a bit of go in me.

The boss had given me the morning off – much appreciated – so from 8am-12 noon, me and Mrs Gale did some yoga to help with my sciatica, played tennis next to some trees that were being cut back by Enfield Council tree surgeons (you try serving as a lump of oak drops 20 yards behind you) and I mowed the lawn with the mowlawn (my son Alexander used to refer to lawnmowers as mowlawns and it’s stuck with me since). And I felt in good spirits because my Aertex 1970 England third shirt had arrived, which I wore for most of the day. In fact, the main image of this blog is me in the England shirt having a crack at my kata kihon as bemused tree surgeons looked on.

Today was hot – 28°C. I’d been in shorts all day and I was in a bind whether I should wear my joggers or not (with the England shirt). In the end I went for the long trousers and a baggy T-shirt with the slogan Co-op People Who Care. Christ! I’ve never seen sweat through trousers before!

Having practised my kata kihon whenever I had a slack minute today, this was the first session that we didn’t do kata kihon. I tried to hide my disappointment. We did a lot of combat attacks and defences – lightning punches and blocks. This was more advanced than I was used to, and having leafed through my Essential Karate Book by Graeme Lund before heading out this evening, I realised there are so many ways to attack and defend that to learn each move and absorb them must take… decades!

Uncharacteristically I didn’t glide home on air tonight and by the time I got in, I had a headache. And I don’t get headaches as a rule. I’m not a hot-weather person and when I arrived back, I dashed upstairs to put my shorts on. I’d glibly suggested at karate that there were millions to be made with a summer karate outfit of It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum shorts and an Aertex T-shirt not unlike the England 1970 shirt I’d worn earlier in the day. By the cool response I received, I realise the gi is sacrosanct and not to be messed with. Mrs Gale asked, ‘When are you getting your karate outfit?’ The answer is, I don’t know, but the young lad who started two weeks before me has a gi on order and arriving soon. I must be next in line – unless they’re thinking that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. If I get a black belt, it would be when I was 58 – and I’m already in a battle I can’t win with my body. As my Nana used to say, ‘You plod on.’

Eight weeks gone. A tough session this evening and one of those days where I wonder if I’ll ever make improvements. Looking in the patio doors at my reflection, and seeing this overweight Northerner gazing back, I know that I’m now in this for the long haul. And I’ll feel great in the morning. I always do.