Training Through It All

Life happens. Vacations crop up, homework intrudes and lethargy holds us hostage on the couch with an oversized glass of lemonade and a NCIS marathon to watch. Seriously, there are a million and one reasons to not train. “I’ll do it tomorrow,” is the lie all martial artists tell themselves at one point or another. Even black belts. How do I know this? I said those very words yesterday. And I didn’t train. There were too many client projects to get finished. Work comes first, especially when it helps to pay the bills.

But training still has to be high up on the list. I will train today and I’ll realize how much I missed it yesterday when my tootsies hit the mat and sweat puddles up on my brow. Perhaps that’s the difference between a black belt and just another student. Somehow, its become a part of us. Well, not somehow – through hard work and persistence we’ve trained our muscles and our minds and now, without karate, we’re a little bit lost in our everyday lives.

I tell students I’m just like them. They tend to look at me as if I’m half crazy. They have a tendency to see the belt and think I’m different, special in some way. I’m honest with them. There are days I just want to stay home. Days I’m feeling too lazy to put my gi on. But I do it, and the moment I start either teaching or training there’s no place else I’d rather be. I’m no different from them. I’ve just kept my feet walking on the path, one step at a time. They can do that, too. The other part of what I tell them? They can pass me up – they’re younger and have more time. The student in turn becomes the teacher, it happens all the time. But most of the time I tell them how much I’m looking forward to presenting them their black belt one day. The sparkle in their eye and the belief that they can do it motivates them on. I believe in them. They should too.

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