Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

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 ~

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Key to Martial Arts Excellence: Showing Up

When I was a young man training in Aikido all of the time, there was an old guy (younger than me now) we called Wyandotte Joe, who was a brown belt.

He had never done anything athletic previously in his life and after a divorce, with his children grown and gone, had decided to take up Aikido.

He was limited in his range of motion (as I am now) and couldn't even sit in seiza (I can't anymore either). The movements didn't come easily to him (boy can I relate to that).

But he showed up every day. He was always there. He was undaunted in always trying to do his best.What an inspiration.

Below is an excerpt from an article I found at The Good Men Project. It was originally published at Six Pack Abs, where the full article may be read.

I sat in my car, looking out at the pouring rain. “Son of a bitch,” I said.

Warm and wet is fine. I’ve run in the rain in Maui and it was awesome. This was not going to be awesome. This was going to be cold and wet. In Canada, rain always sucks.

Stupid weather, messing with my workout plans.

I sat there in Rhonda the Honda, wasted some time on Facebook with my phone, and debated.

I needed to meet a friend downtown to pick up some tickets from him. Downtown traffic sucks.

Downtown parking fees are egregious. Parking 6K away from downtown, for free, then running to meet my friend and thereby avoiding the traffic, then running back, seemed like a great idea. I was dressed to run. I was ready to run.

But, rain. Crud.

I hate Canadian rain. I hated the thought of being cold and wet more than I hated the idea of traffic and parking fees.

Five minutes. I knew I could do five minutes. I also knew that going fast combated freezing. Suck it up, I said to myself. Just go for five minutes. If it’s horrible, turn back.

I ran the 6K in 27 minutes, a good pace, and walked into Starbucks. I was soaking wet and water was dripping from the brim of my hat.

“Holy shit, you ran here?” Dave said. Yeah, I guess I did. I hate forgotten about the miserable conditions within two minutes of hard running, and just did it. Grabbing a coffee the cute barista asked me the same question Dave had, minus the profanity, then, “What are you training for?” she asked.

“Life,” I said. I always wanted to say that. I managed to do it without sounding like a douche. She laughed, at least.

1 comment:

RunBikeThrow said...

He ran a 6K in the cold rain so he could go to a Starbucks? many people to re-educate, so little time.

Perhaps it is people like Kushida-sensei who change the world, but it is the Wyandotte Joes who keep it going.