The Gushing Spigot

Besides the aches, sweat, and confusion of these early days, what comes most to mind was my unquenchable thirst, not to learn karate, but for a bucket of water, to drink it in one sustained gulp. I would await the 5 minute break and plan how I would dash faster this time to get a good turn at the spigot, because many times you would be waiting in line and when your turn came you barely had time for one or two gulps or maybe you were so far back that when they called formation you went dry for the last hour of practice. I learned, patiently and painfully, not to think about it, about my thirst, like I learned to forget the pain in the ten-step push-up (the supreme torture of every Dojo session). The only students allowed to drink water were those below green belt, even though after three months anyone who ran to the drnking line was frowned upon. That rule changed through the years as the dangers of dehydration became more evident. But in the beginning I ran like a fool, a madman, a possesed being, whose only purpose in life was to get his head under the gushing spigot.

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