NaPoWriMo – Day Six: Ippon

Some throws

you don’t see

until

your come back

to yourself,

recognise patchwork,

Styrofoam squares,

as ceiling.

Understand

you’re fallen

and the smack

of body

hitting mat

was you.

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NaPoWriMo Day Six: “write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks”

I’ve moved away from the very short lines of my earlier poems so I decided that I’d go back to that in order to complete the Day Six prompt for NaPoWriMo. I’ve been a little under the weather this week so I’ve managed to fall a day behind unfortunately. Oh well, it’s only a day and I can catch up over the weekend.

*Ippon – A winning score in Judo matches

Fake It Till You Make It – Not Letting Nerves Destroy You

When I get nervous I feel physically sick. This weight drops in my stomach, the back of my neck begins to prickle, and I feel like I want to leap out of my own skin. Sometimes I get to the point where I feel like I might start vibrating on the spot there’s so much nervous energy whirling around inside me. That’s how I feel every time I start to think about finishing my book and starting to look for literary agents. When the chance to submit to a poetry competition crosses my desk. When I ask someone to pass an opinion on my writing.

Nerves are just something that I’ve had to learn to live with.

As I’ve got older I’ve managed to reign them in a bit. The first two days of secondary school were hell mostly because of my nerves, and the way that they made me feel like I was about to puke my guts up at any second. These days I’m able to remind myself that it’s okay to be nervous, but it’s not okay to let those things get in the way of what I want to do. It doesn’t always work, but I’m great at pretending I’m confident in situations where I’m actually scared witless. Have you heard of the phrase ‘fake it till you make it?’ Well that is something of a moto for me. Fake like you know it until you do. Fake like you’re a kick-arse, no bullshit taking, cool as chips chick until I am.

I don’t know if it always comes across that way, but I try.

Writing is one of the areas in my life where I’ve learnt that they can be no room for my nerves. If they’re the thing holding me back from hitting publish then I should click that little blue button all the harder. If they’re telling me that I might not be good enough to enter that poetry competition then I should be trying to prove them wrong. If they want to freeze up at the idea I might actually finish this novel within the month then open that laptop and get writing!

If my nerves are holding me back then I’ve got to fight all the harder and go for it because I do not want to be kicking myself fifty years down the line wishing I’d taken more risks when I had the chance.

It doesn’t always work. The first time I went to judo a few months ago I froze in the doorway and almost turned around to head back to the car. That sick feeling, the prickles, I had it all and stepping into the room seemed impossible. I made myself though. It was one of the reasons I decided to take judo up. It was something I’d never done and something I knew I’d find hard to get myself to do at first. It involved new people, a new sport, a new environment. Three things that set off every alarm possible in my head. But once the first session was over and I walked out of there, I felt good about myself. I felt proud that the nerves hadn’t conquered me.

That one incident didn’t cure me. The idea of doing a grading is still enough to bring all those lovely symptoms rushing back, but I’m hoping I’ll get there in the end. The people I do judo with are lovely and supportive, and the coach is such a friendly guy that I don’t worry about looking like an idiot in front of him.

My nerves are something I battle on almost a daily basis, but I’m learning ways to push past the fear and do things that I’m finding I love.

It’s not easy. It’s downright difficult and exhausting at time.

But it’s worth it.

So very, very worth it.

 

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-Nine

I Remember

I remember that feeling you get in dreams,

where your legs feel like lead weights

and no matter how hard you push,

you can’t make them move fast enough.

I remember the headteacher’s voice

coming in over the loud speaker

to announce to the parents

that I was either finishing the last race

or coming first in the next.

I remember crying afterwards

and swearing to never run a relay again.

Make Way For The Blonde Bombshell Going For The Try!

I make no secret of it, rugby is about the only sport I’ll sit down and watch, and it’s probably the only one I actually have any understanding of.

And that is all because of one insane, wonderful person, Connie Morgan. You know those people you meet and just thing, yes, your mind works in the same weird, eccentric way mine does and we are going to be friend. Meetings in public places become an issue because your weirdness together actually stands a chance of freaking other people out and sending them running.

Anyway.

This amazing friend of mine has kindly agreed to run a feature here on Writing and Works in honour of the Rugby World Cup. [Yes I know we’re a little late to the game but we got here in the end.]

Connie will be joining us once a week to share with us her take on the World Cup and all that surrounds it. As a past player, coach and more importantly, a die hard fan, this girls has blagged her way into Scottish Team after-parties and proven herself a formidable sports writer when handed a pen.

Look out on Wednesday for her take on how the game has changed in recent years, right here on Writing and Works.

 

Connie Morgan: The Tartan Duchess

Connie Morgan by Antonia Brennan

6ft blonde stunner who is a fanatic about rugby and more importantly rugby players! Half Welsh Half Scottish babe who keeps anyone on their toes with her sarcasm and wit.

SHE’S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!! RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How many of you remember the post “Look, Feet!”? Well it was just under a year ago and I’d managed to complete the Tatton Park 10K Race for life in one hour and eight minutes.

This year I’m hoping to beat that time, and raise some more money while doing it.

The man I’m running in memory of is my Grandfather Bill. He died just after I started secondary school, and I knew little, if nothing about him. What I have learnt since has been through the stories others have told me, and the more I learnt the more I wished I had got to know the man that they knew.

He suffered with Leukaemia, but he also suffered from diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart issues. He was not a well man by any means, but I’m hoping that by raising some money for Cancer Research UK, that I can do my bit to honour his memory and show that even though I didn’t know him well, I still loved him as my Grandfather and that love has only grown in the years that have followed his death.

If any of you would like to sponsor me there is a JustGiving page which you can check out, but don’t feel pressured if this is not the way in which you chose to support charities or if you would rather support another charity with the money. We all have our own ways of showing our support.

For those of you taking on Race For Life yourselves, Good Luck! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re doing and where, I’d love to hear from you.

Service will resume as normal on Writing & Works in a couple of months when university wraps up and I finally escape the avalanche on work steadily crashing towards me.

Wish me luck readers.

Bill Forrester & Friend