Monday, June 18, 2012

A beautiful thought, a call to action...

My instructor's blog post on Saturday was inspiring and, yes, felt a little bit like a horoscope entry-- you wonder whether it was written for you because it feels incredibly specific and topical and appropriate.

Lately I've been pondering my lack of motivation to go train.  What I have come up with is a combination of-- feeling fat and out of shape (this is getting better now that I'm back to working out 7 days a week and often doing two-a-days)... being tired at the end of a long work day and not wanting to train at 8pm (my old academy had early am, lunch, and 5pm classes and I would be home by 9pm)... feeling like once I miss a couple classes, I'm too far "behind" everyone else....

But Donald's post helped me face an icky, ugly truth-- part of my reluctance to train is fear.  Fear of sucking and fear of people talking about how much I suck.  Over the weekend, I happened to have a conversation with a guy who trains at another school, about his experience when he visited another academy.  He alluded to a training partner's belt color (an advanced belt) and expressed disappointment over how this person's skills did not seem to match up to his belt color.  We've all heard comments like that, whether about people from other schools or not, haven't we?  I don't know about you, but they're the ones that used to galvanize me to train harder-- to make sure if someone from another school rolled with me, that I never let my instructor and my team down.  That I always repped them well. And yet now, my confidence has receded like the tide going out, and I'm afraid I've become a girl with a ratty blue belt who rolls like a ratty white belt.  That fear is my failure.

I am not close enough to my instructor to fancy myself his personal friend in the true sense of the word, but I feel I know him a little better now, and it is somewhat reassuring to know someone I respect so much has also failed. 

Thought I'd share with you the conclusion of his post:

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.



Liam H Wandi said...

Beautiful post G. Nice to read your words again :)

Mateo said...

I think a lot of people that train fall into the trap of:

...not training regularly enough, taking a break for a while, realizing that getting back to their normal self on the mat physically, technically, and mentally is a huge deterrent towards actually getting back on the mat. That said my motivation to stay on the mat and train when I'm not feeling up to it is that all of my training partners and competition are training and getting better all the time. I don't want to get left behind and always trying to grow so that has always worked well for me. At they very least I want to be able to uphold the skill level of the rank that I hold.

I hope you get your mental aspects back in check because that IMO is the hardest part. My advice is to make sure you are having fun and try to remove as much ego as possible to get back your timing and confidence.

Megan said...

I had a constant fear of not measuring up until recently, at blue, I ran the idea of going to train at an outside school past my instructor (had heard that some guys really aren't cool with that). He responded that he's not worried about his dtudents going out to other schools because he knows he's prepared us well before he promotes us.

Still though, I wonder. It's been a real struggle for me to truly internalize my progress in the sport.

Zen Walker said...

Very inspiring and brave! From guy from "another school." Can't we all just have some tea together? :)