Well, I got married recently (at the beginning of April) and things were getting pretty stressful coming up to the big day, what with organising the venue, accommodating family over from Ireland and the UK, and every other little piddly detail. Weirdly though I was, or thought I was rather calm through the entire thing. I didn't get half as stressed as my wife. Only when it was all over and everything had gone back to normal did I realise how much pressure we had been under and indeed how it manifested itself......BTW we had an absolutely fantastic time and I loved every minute of the wedding and my family's visit.
For a while I had been getting a bit worked up about how we are supposed to cover the syllabus material and started cooking up ideas for gradings, logbooks and all sorts of shenanigans to "improve" the system. I even wrote several mails on the SES forum to air my ideas and views and started to get a bit ticked off with some of the replies, which in my stressed state I took as negativity. To give Guy his due, he did suggest going to Helsinki to occasionally discuss how the syllabus could be modified or tweaked etc. My gut feeling though was that the other class leaders seemed to be quite happy with things as they are. Basically, if it ain't broke....... so I must be doing something wrong to get that stressed about it. It's a character flaw of mine, I get an idea stuck in my head and it just goes round and round in a feedback loop, driving me nuts because I can't break it. I even dream about it and sleep badly as a result. How's that for hypermania?
Anyhow, I finally let the matter drop and concentrated on the wedding stuff. It was only after the celebrations that I realised that I had somehow transferred my stress into becoming totally anal about the whole syllabus thing. I came to this conclusion because I noticed that I really enjoyed going to classes and training, leading training and the Beginner's Course. For some reason, it has been a blast this spring :-) That most of the beginner's were still coming to training by the end of the course was testament to the fact that we were doing something right, although I could also put it down to other factors, such as their own enthusiasm, and that we have started to correctly apply good pedagogic technique. At the risk of sounding conceited though, I would also say that my enthusiasm for training, as well as that of the other advanced students, combined with mixing advanced students with beginners on two training nights a week, surely boosted morale and kept motivation high. The lesson of the story I guess is that the syllabus material will take care of itself...as long as the people leading/attending the class are dynamic and "up for it", it will stay fun and motivational. This doesn't mean that we cannot train hard, we just enjoy ourselves more while doing whatever the material is that class.
Guy once told me that we train swordsmanship to enhance our lives. I guess the stress made me forget for this for a while. Lesson learned. I'm looking forward to training tomorrow already!