The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, February 17, 2012

The 2012 Lenten Challenge

Every year, I throw out the Lenten Challenge to my martial arts buddies. It has nothing to do with Christianity or religion. We are simply using this time as a convenient reminder to rededicate ourselves to our training. It’s kind of hard to miss either Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras, the last day before Lent, which is also Paczki Day!) or Easter Sunday (Bunnies, candy, colored eggs; that stuff). Several of us have been doing this for years now.

The challenge is this: from Ash Wednesday (Feb 22) until the day before Easter (April 7), train every day, without fail, no excuses; even if you have to move mountains. Simple enough said, a little harder to do.

It's not as easy as it sounds; things come up. Some days, you might only be able to get a few minutes of training in; but the point is to do it everyday, no matter what.

It doesn't have to be martial arts training either. Whatever it is that you need to really rededicate yourself to: studying, practicing an instrument, walking, watching what you eat; anything - do it every day, without fail.

In the past on some forums, people have posted what they’ve done everyday. I think everyone who’s done that has become tired of writing, and the others get tired of reading it. How about you just post if you’ve had some breakthrough, or you’ve had to overcome some unusual circumstance to continue your training? Maybe just check in every once in a while to let everyone know you’re keeping at it, or to encourage everyone else to keep at it.

If you fail, no one will hate you. If you fall off of the wagon, climb back on board. Start anew.

For those of you who insist that you really do train everyday anyway, by all means continue and be supportive of the rest of us. For the rest of us who intend to train everyday, but sometimes come up short due to life’s propensity for unraveling even the best laid plans, here is an opportunity to put a stake in the ground and show your resolution.

Won't you join me?

Best Regards



Erik the Strange said...

I'm in. I guess I had not been paying attention but I thought it already started.

I myself plan on buying myself a new sword if I make it through the whole deal without failure.

Rick said...

An excellent incentive! You will succeed!

Kerry Brian Davidson said...

OK I'm in too, just started martial arts again after being off for about a year. I like the incentive of getting a sword at the end too.

Rick said...

Ganbatte! Do your best!

walt said...

As per usual, any "help" I can get is welcome!

I remember from last year there were several times during your Challenge that remembering it gave me some added oomph as I worked through my daily dharma duties. Nothing dramatic, perhaps, but "help" anyways.

No rewards for me, but I do get off on the experience of "perseverance furthers," and will be satisfied with that.

Felicia said...

I'm in! Just starting with tonfa and this challenge will help improve my dexterity and control. I like it! Like it a lot...

Rick said...

The Lenten Challenge is a perfect opportunity for some focused study.

Wim said...

I'm training anyway, so I guess I'm in too. :-)

Rick said...

Awesome. Welcome aboard!

Michele Apsokardu said...

Count me in!

My goal is to work on the bo kata Sakugawa Nokun Ichi.

Rick said...


Compass Strategist said...

Perform 3000 steps of BG circle walking per day.

Rick said...

Go for it!