Feb. 21st, 2007 11:36 am
grim23: (Default)
So, a former student asked me who I was fighting for. I replied that I was fighting no one. So, why do I train so hard? Why eat chicken breast and salads over and over? Why do those extra decline abs, why perform hyung and line drills and sparring over and over, why all those hours in the gym? Why all the running and the treadmill? Why all the tantra practice? Why train at all? Five reasons, of course (you knew there would be five reasons). *smile* 

First, I train so that I am capable of fighting or taking action, in an emergency, when a less trained person might fail, and/or to protect others or myself from harm from people or circumstances, when I’m not able to more gently end the fight. That’s my only motivation for fighting, and that only as long as it takes to protect, defend, or escape from the situation. No longer. 

“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to the reflexes you developed in training. That’s where roadwork shows – the training you did in the dark if the mornin’ will show when you’re under the bright lights.” Joe Frazier 

Second, my body is a temple. I respect it as such. Eating less healthy food means I desecrate my temple, and I can feel the energy drain. I do eat chocolate, and drink coffee, and enjoy an occasional whiskey and cigar - I’m not obsessive, but I won’t just constantly slow my body with sugar and carbs and processed, greasy food. It’s not worth it to me. 

“Champions in any field have made a habit of doing what others find boring or uncomfortable.” Anon 

Third, I train because it’s the price I pay for taking the journey. It helps me focus, and be calm, partly because I’m too tired to be otherwise. *smile* The meditative state of the repetition, the cathartic pain as you struggle for one more rep, the breathing, the practice of discipline and will, to keep going or even show up at the gym at all when you’re tired or stressed and your mind is saying ‘we’ll go tomorrow, take a day off’---that’s a reason I train. Daily improvement of myself - not training to beat someone else - is my goal. 

“The way of the sage is to act but not to compete.” Lao Tzu 

Four, I like it. I enjoy working to always perfect my technique – less effort and more effectiveness, as Sensei Foxx would say - for myself, and no one else. My own quest for impossible perfection is the point of repetition of kata or hyung. I am a long way from perfection. 

As soon as one cherishes the thought of winning the contest or displaying one’s skill and technique, swordsmanship is doomed.” Takano Shigeyoshi 

Five, our minds are intangible, and it’s difficult to see personal change, and we as humans tend to resist mental and emotional change. Our bodies, however, are very visible, and visible change reinforces and encourages. If we work the body in positive ways, it helps the mind and emotions---to relax the body is to relax the mind. Working on strength, balance, and coordination for the body does so for the mind. I train to maximize my potential, in the gym, on the wards and testing rooms, in clinical supervision, with Tang Soo Do and with tantra. 

“Training is the path and the process, the means and the end, a bridge to personal evolution.” Dan Millman 

Training? It’s what I do. It’s what Warriors do. Nothing more or less.


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