This week I learned two valuable lessons, which makes up for the last few weeks of not capturing any on the blog.
My first lesson came midway through a grueling workout, the first since the school’s hiatus last week. The thought was relayed to us by Sensei as follows:
Imagine your best friend picks you up after class every time to give you a ride home. You go out to your ride and when you get in he starts in with “Why do you do this? You have no business doing karate! Look at you — you’re so out of shape! You can’t even keep up! Check it out; you’re all bruised up! Those guys are all better than you! You are hopeless!” and so on. After a while you’d get fed up and say something like, “Hey, man, shut up will you? I thought you were on my side! You’re wrong and you’re pissing me off! If you aren’t going to be supportive then shut it, you aren’t helping.”
And yet, this is exactly what so many of us tell ourselves in our heads after class. It’s better to focus on what we’ve improved upon and the progress we’re making than beating ourselves up over the negative.
The second lesson this week was that no altercation ever goes off perfectly and as planned. Sure, you see it in the movies and on TV where the hero pulls off clean moves and TKO’s his opponent but in reality it’s often — rather, almost always — less graceful. There are missteps, goofs, slips, misses, and only through focus and persistence in the fight will you emerge the ‘winner’.