How It Is…

You know you’re doing ok when your Korean master, a few practices in a row, says, “You look strong.”
It’s usually something like, “You’re getting fat/heavy/slow” or “You look sick/weak/thin” (and even sometimes, “When are you getting married?”)

Your master will always tell you the truth, he says what you need to hear…your master will not hesitate to say how it is. 

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Run for Your Life…

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

–Haruki Murakami

I hate running. I used to tell people that running is bad for you. It hurts your ankles, it’s bad for your knees, the impact is bad for your spine and your brain, etc., etc. 

I still don’t love running, but I no longer hate it. 

You need to be able to run. It’s a sign of fitness and agility.  It’s also an indicator of strength and endurance. 

In my dreams and in my mind, I’m often running.  I’m running to or from something. I’m fighting villains. I’m searching for someone. I’m chasing something. I’m battling something. In those adventure dreams, I’m a fantastic runner.  In those movie-like scenes, I’m a great fighter. In real life, however, I need work in the speed and endurance space. The only way, in addition to practicing and lifting, is running. 

At first, it really sucks. Thinking about the whole distance is daunting. It makes you not want to go at all, so you don’t.

Next, you say to yourself, “Ok, just run. Don’t worry about speed or distance”.

Then, challenge yourself for short-bursts at different intervals. Make it a game: “Ok, self, let’s go to that 3rd tree…that next stop sign, that 10th telephone pole, that green house, that brick building, that bridge…” and so on. Suddenly, it’s about pushing yourself just to that next point and realizing how far you’ve gone, how fast you got there. You wake up one day and realize you’re not saying, “I’m not a runner” anymore and that you are. 

It’s not unlike the journey of a martial artist: one day you can’t do the push-ups and the forms without wanting to die, to realizing that you have effortlessness and flow to your movements as they become automatic and part of you. 

Don’t accept what you never were before, for you can suddenly be so much better than you ever were. Running is not bad for you. It helps you train for your art. It keeps you fit for fighting. It enables you to run toward somewhere you want to go and chase it with speed, endurance, and an intensity that’s stronger than your self in your dreams.  Do it for real…

…run for your life.

Take a Hike…

Never underestimate the power of being in nature. 

Grab a trusted friend, your partner, or go alone, leave your technobabbly device in the car, and just walk. 

Think, talk, or allow the silence. 

In all ways, in this hyper-fragmented, over connected, attention-hogging world, getting out is the best way to get back.

So, take a hike. 

You Are Not Excused…

“If it’s important, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

  — Anonymous

I’ll be the first to admit, I have made many excuses.  I still make lots of excuses.  How many excuses do you make?

I am not enough _____. 

I am not _____ enough. 

I can’t have ______.

I don’t deserve ______.

I can’t _____ because _____.

It’s not my fault.

I’m not lucky.

I don’t have enough money.

I don’t have enough time.

How many of these have you used to justify inaction? How often do you excuse yourself from the possibility of failure? 

How often do you excuse yourself from the possibility of succeed?

I’ve “self-handicapped” before.  That’s giving yourself excuses not to succeed, giving yourself an out if you fail.

It’s so very easy to do, giving yourself those outs.  It’s easy to doubt, call yourself undeserving, see yourself as inadequate, show yourself as blocked, and feel yourself as stuck. 

No more brushing off compliments. Accept them.  No more self-handicapping.  Knock out your competition.  No more doubting that you can’t have it all.  Go get it.  No more holding yourself back from what you want.  Go live.

No…you are not excused.