From there I went to judo. Wednesdays are always insane for me. I get on the mat at about 5:45 for some preliminary stretching, then we have kata seminar from 6-7:30. In Ju-No-Kata, the kind that I do, there are four of us working: me and my partner, and the reigning Canadian champions. They are very nice and give us lots of good pointers, so the hour and a half goes by really quickly. We've been getting better in strides, but it can be frustrating to try to fix teeny little things, and it gets super hard on the lower back. Every time we finish a complete set, we have to stop and stretch and give our backs a break for a couple of minutes. Then we get up and do it all again. I like it because it's a bit like dancing; you have specific movements that you must do in exactly the right way, and you have to have grace and a good connection with your partner in order for it to look good. We have a competition in August that we're preparing for as well. It's Masters level, which means people over 30, so technically I shouldn't be participating but since I'm the uke (the attacker, which is less glamorous) I think it should be okay.
Then at 7:30 there's the regular practice, with cardio, circuits, throws, technique, and randori (sparring). That goes until 9:00, and then there's free practice, so I usually put in another 20 minutes or so before I have to shower and catch my bus. It was a good workout today; I worked with a white belt (a beginner) and showed him some technique, and I got to do some randori with K., a woman black belt who's very very good. She's in and out of the competition circuit so she's great to work out with, both technically and tactically. I feel like, after a year back in the sport, I'm finally getting back into my game a bit. It's nice.
Of course, now my body wants to kill me. It wants to crawl into a corner and die, after eating everything in my apartment that stays still long enough. It wants to swell up to three times its size just so I can't get any sleep, and to calm it down I'm going to have to munch on carrots and utilize every ice pack in the fridge, alternating them on various body parts for the next couple of hours. And tomorrow I won't be able to walk. But that's okay, because it's Canada Day, my dad's birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!), moving day in Quebec, and the day my body goes on strike (well, that's every Thursday, but whatever).
Now I'm going to cuddle up with some ice packs, suck my thumb, and whimper myself to sleep, all while revelling in how awesome it is to be an athlete.