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I have just now figured out how to navigate my university’s system of recreation class registration, and I am eyeing four different sport classes to take for Spring: Flow Yoga, Kendo, Aikido, and Ballroom Dancing. They’re much cheaper than classes in the community, and are conveniently located at the actual university, meaning there’s no need for me to take the bus or my bike (Not that I mind really)

I’m interested in all of these for different reasons, but the four of them all appeal to me because I have poor hand-eye coordination, and I feel they could drastically improve that and my balance. I also have a great distaste for team sports, and all of these are focused on individual action- it is up to you to defeat your opponent/master your body- or in the case of ballroom dancing, I’ll be with someone I trust and love, namely Jaime.

Aikido is the most interesting to me because I’ve always wanted to learn a martial art, and Aikido plays to avoidance and tiring out your opponent, so rather than trying to overpower them, it’s a matter of tiring them out and outsmarting them. One simile of Aikido techniques I really liked is the idea of a cork in the water. You are the cork, the opponent is poking it down repeatedly into the water. But the cork will always rise to the surface, until the opponent tires of trying to hold it down under water.

The next most appealing one for me is Yoga. I’ve taken classes in Yoga before, and I’ve always found them to be relaxing and confidence building. The exercises are gentle enough for me to keep up even on a bad back day, the gentle lighting and hard, clean floors in the studios is good for sensory-avoidant moments, and the instructors are really gentle and accommodating. It’s a perfect exercise for someone with autism who is easily overwhelmed and wants something a bit more low key for healthy activities.

Ballroom Dancing is what Jaime is interested in, she wants us to be able to dance at our wedding, and I wouldn’t mind being a bit more graceful as well. I adore music, but since I never got a musical education as a child and never learned to dance properly (My sister took ballet and jazz dance classes) I feel like there are gaps in my musical appreciation that a dance class could fulfil (or taking up the cello, my favourite instrument) That alone makes this exceptionally tempting. The idea of being able to dance at my wedding and prove to my mother that I don’t have two left feet would be another motivation.

But… I kind of also want to play sword fight at my wedding, and that means I should take Kendo instead! Kendo, for the unfamiliar, is “the way of the sword”, and is essentially Japanese fencing. It’s very intricate and complicated, and unlike these other ones, can be a really hard-core sport and can be mentally and physically exhausting. There’s something purifying about a good session of Kendo though, it leaves you aching, but cathartic, like a deep tissue massage.

I’m going to do some more thinking over which one would suit my life, my health, and my class schedule for spring best. Any of these would be fun, after all, and that’s what matters most to me.

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