Sunday, January 7, 2018

Something to Be Said for Maintaining Radio Silence

Yesterday, I was up before 7AM, having decided to rely solely on public transportation to get to my volunteer gig... I really didn't want to move my car from the parking spot I had found on Friday morning (truth to tell, I managed to park in one of my usual spots, half a block from my house). I braved the single-digit temperatures and walked a couple of blocks to the nearest stop for the 25 Bus to the Nereid Avenue station for the 2/5 Train, a departure from my usual 1 Train trip, which involves driving to the vicinity of Gaelic Park. I had to leave early to get to my volunteer gig, but the trip only took an hour.

The volunteer gig lasts from 9:30AM to noon, hours spent without having the phone on one's person. On this particular day, we introduced the kids to the basics of ne waza by having them play a sort of tag, in which the bulk of the students had to crawl past three of their peers, who were tasked with putting their peers onto their backs- when a kid was 'caught', he had to join the catchers. It's pretty rough-and-tumble, and the kids had to learn that teamwork was the key to taking down larger opponents until we could teach them some basic turnover techniques. Needless to say, it was funny to watch the game, especially to see the various stratagems that kids used to get past the catchers- whether sneaking, barrelling through, or using another kid as a 'shield'. We had a couple of new students in our 5-7 year old girls group, so we practiced O Soto Gari with them and then had them compete against each other.

When I came home, I braved the frigid blasts of air down the concrete-and-glass canyons of Manhattan to get to the 59th St station for the 4 Train, then transferred to the Bx 34 Bus, which drops me off about three blocks from home. The walk home was relatively pleasant, free from Manhattan's biting winds.

It was around 2AM when I finally returned home... I spent seven hours completely cut off from the media world, so I missed perhaps the craziest twitstorm ever. I should have stayed in the bubble that is the real world.

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