As of today, it has been only 3 months since I've held a shinai for the first time in my life and I've already participated in one of the biggest kendo camps in Pori, Finland. Still being very new to the bogu, I was feeling nervous about going. Later on, thanks to the encouragement from my fellow club members, I decided to delete that negative voice in my mind and go anyway as I refuse to let fear prevent me from making changes in my life.
During these four days, I got more comfortable with the added weight on my body, got a chance to relearn the basic strikes and even summoned up the courage to line up for the main sensei (more than once!). Whenever that negative voice tried to speak, I took a look around me at the other hundred kenshi and finally found a way to silence it for good. Most people won't spend their weekend waking up at ungodly hours to sweat and get blisters on purpose. This is the very reason why people who do kendo are special. Each person is aiming to better themselves and by doing so, they also help the others to achieve their goals. This selfless act of teaching provides a very nice environment for long-lasting friendships. The walls of the dojos witness more than the motivated kiai of the students; they also contain many heartwarming stories, inside jokes and sometimes tears...and in the end, it is all worth it.