I have not been training the way I should. I have let work and personal business get in the way; and I have not gone to class or worked on my own in a couple of weeks. To make it worse I have only been training sporadically for the last couple of months.
Just as working out can become a habit, missing workouts can become a habit.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to talk to one of my mentors. I told him about my scheduling issues and my regrets about not training. He was silent for a bit then began to describe what he tells his black belts.
He equates martial arts to walking. For the first five years of walking we are clumsy and fall down a lot. After that time, we become more proficient at walking because we do it every day. We don’t schedule a time to walk, we just do it. We don’t have a class next Wednesday to walk to the kitchen. We walk to the kitchen every day. He believes we should treat martial arts training the same way.
When I told him about my lack of training, I was not sure what I expected: understanding of my crazy schedule or disappointment due to my lack of priority on training. I did not expect him to describe what he tells his students. He was unassuming, told to me in a manner where I could take it or leave it and did not judge me. It hit home.
Do I have a schedule that is more challenging than most? Yes, I do but guess what? Too bad! If martial arts training is a priority for me, I need to make time to train. If I need t get up earlier than my peers, so be it. If I have to stay up later to train, that is the way it is. I get to choose my path.
Being able to choose a path is empowering. Sometimes you just need a mentor to remind you that the choice is yours.