One night while talking before a concert my family and I were attending, my Dad asked me about one of our advanced students that has been missing from class. I told him that I had not seen him in awhile but had spoken to him and knew that work was really getting in the way of his training.
My Dad said well make sure he knows we understand and to just get back to training when he can. “Life is life,” my Dad said, “and martial arts is all about life.”
All of us can relate to this message. Sometimes things just get in the way of your training. This is absolutely normal. We just have to make sure we get right back on track when we can.
That might seem like an easy piece of advice, but it can be extremely difficult. When things get in the way, it is easy to let other things that aren’t really in the way seem like they are. You may miss a week or two of training for any number of reasons, but then those reasons aren’t there anymore and you continue to delay your return to training. You may have originally missed because of the snow, work, an injury, vacation, family commitments, the list goes on and on, but now you are missing because of laziness, fear of being out of shape, fear of not knowing all of your techniques, or being behind.
We all need to remember that the first list of reasons that actually got in the way are normal and completely understandable. Life is life. It’s going to happen! This is training in the context of a real life. The second list is where we have to be mindful. The second list is where the “no excuses” mentality needs to come in, or Nike’s “just do it” motto. When it is time to get back on the mat, or get back to your diet, or back into your routine - JUST DO IT.
In that moment more than ever we cannot psyche ourselves out. Turn off the brain for a little while because in that moment your power to reason usually will work against you! Because it is easier to stay home, you may convince yourself of a sound reason to do it. You can convince yourself to just get back on track tomorrow, or the next day. But don’t!
The decision to take the easy path might give you pleasure or enjoyment for that one moment. The decision to take the harder path will give you happiness and fulfillment for a lifetime.
See you on the mat!