The thing is, I didn't really want to do it. I loved the school, I loved the instructors, I loved the other students. The problem was that the school was so far from my home that if I tried to attend, it would take my entire evening during the school year. During the summer, it was still twice the distance I commute to work. It just wasn't working. And frankly, right now, I'm just not in shape to go back to it. So I've actually been out for awhile, but still paying the fees every month. It's just not practical.
I've been re-evaluating a few things I've more or less given up over the years, telling myself that I had to put the family first. I've gone back to shooting recently, doing DCM highpower competition once a month this summer, and tomorrow I'll try IPSC competition for the first time. That's a weekly match, so I hope to get a little bit of experience before I go to Blackwater. It's also shot indoors, so it goes all winter, too.
Another thing I've given up on has been metalworking. I have a forge and anvil out in the shed that haven't seen a spark in a couple of years now. I think it's time to find someone willing to take on a part-time apprentice and try to make some real progress as a smith. I know a smith who sells knives here in my little town. What's stopping me from asking him to teach me? I'm just that shy and that quiet. But if the truth be told, if I could do anything for a living, I'd make knives and write. It's time to do something about it.
I've also let my weight-loss and fitness slip away in the last couple of years. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, and it felt great, but it didn't last. I didn't sustain it. This is normal for a lot of Americans, but it isn't good enough. The bicycle I used to love to ride has hung in the garage since winter; there never seemed to be time. Now I'll make time.
Now, again, Gracie Barra Springfield is not at fault here. In fact, let me commend them--they have auto-debit access to my checking account, and they could have followed the standard American martial-arts school procedure by losing paperwork, asking me to quit in person, and otherwise making it as hard as they could or stretching out the process. Many schools just keep charging you like some evil clone of AOL, not even acknowledging that you've quit until the third or fourth try. All it took to GBS was a phone call. That speaks well of them. They're a great school. But in the list of things I really feel a need to do at this moment, jiu-jitsu just didn't make the cut.