July 24, 2005

Questions For Myself

I look for signs a lot in my life. Sounds odd, I know, but I have this thing about listening, seeing if there is a message around me telling me to do something that perhaps I’m not picking up upon.

I can be very connected to my universe. And I can be very disconnected… when I don’t listen.

The last week or so, my life has been just out of step, if that makes sense. I know what’s doing it; we all have stuff going on in our lives that we work through. It’s a matter of how you choose to work through it. Constructive or destructive.

I was thinking the other day about the time I was the most mentally and physically fit, that I can remember. Hand in hand, not one more than the other, mental and physical. I am going to have to say it was when I was training Karate. I could mentally focus, work out my frustrations, almost a soul cleansing, go home, take a shower, and I was good to go for the next day.

My dojo closed in February and I was not sad about it. I will just call it ‘dojo drama’. It happens when you have humans involved with anything… drama. Some people can control themselves and some people can’t and in my life, I like to cut out those folks who can’t control themselves. Life is too short for me to have to deal with whackos and there was a big whacko that the dojo closing eliminated from my life. It was a relief.

Nevertheless, my Sensei and most of his team, were excellent instructors and I miss their tutelage. In the beginning I looked for another dojo for my style, but there is not one around. Then I decided, “I’m done.”

Heh. Funny. I then met up with a black belt in my style in March. It is odd how we met, casual talk at the soccer field watching our kids. Fate, I would say. He kept telling me, “You are a brown belt. It is a LOSS if you do not continue. Train on your own. I’ll test you for your black belt; you can open your own dojo. Learn from the mistakes you saw… the unhealthy dojo drama. Be what Karate needs to be.”

We ‘discussed’ it quite a bit. I say discuss because he would push and I would push back. He’d say ‘train’ and I’d say ‘no’. He’d say, ‘you need your black belt, you will regret it… you are so close’ and I’d say, “No. I don’t need anything in my life. I am done.” He’d say, “Open your own dojo” and I’d say, “I’m not instructor material, I’m not black belt material, I’m not training.” He relented. He saw the signs. He saw it was a futile fight. I’d dug in my heels and wasn’t going to budge.

In the back of my mind I would think, “If HE opened his own dojo again (he’s had one before) I would take from him.” (He trains alone.) I have enormous respect for this man. I do. We just didn’t see eye to eye on my Karate. But that was it. I was done. But I did collect that data point that here I was in Palm Beach County for so long and never met anyone else that was a black belt in my style unless I had trained with them, but now I had. I filed it away and made peace with the fact I was over Karate. I was done.

On Thursday, I had Son#4 (my eldest’s best friend) with us, so I took all 4 boys to a Japanese restaurant. I never see anyone from my old dojo. I have heard from a couple via e-mail, but I have run into NOT ONE since we closed in February. Nobody. And here, in this Japanese restaurant was a former instructor from my dojo with his wife, also a black belt.

They looked genuinely happy to see me and said I was the last student with whom they had been unable to get in touch. They were opening their own dojo and wanted me to join. Two of the former instructors would be teaching. They were great instructors, patient, no ego, older… in their late 40s early 50s, so they weren’t hopped up on ‘young man ego and testosterone’. They have the perspective of wiser men. They are kind men. I like them.

And I am tempted. I am thinking it over. It is a long drive, but they would not pressure me when I could not train. They would not ‘threaten or harass me’ with BS if my real life interfered. They would ‘understand’ that Karate was 2nd or 3rd or 4th in my life.

I am wondering… peace of mind. The physical conditioning. I do not miss hand to hand combat. I sucked at that. I flinch when I’m about to take a hit. But I miss the training and I do know that under these two men and the wife, I would actually grow. I was never a GREAT karate-ka. I am not destined to win tournaments or have people say, “She is awesome!” But, I am capable of achieving what is best for me and maybe obtaining my black belt and maybe helping others.

I am in deep thought. We shall see…

Posted by Boudicca at July 24, 2005 09:16 PM | TrackBack

I think you need karate. I can see a difference. But if you take it up... I might as well drop out of the competition. I can't see how I can even come close to the work out you will get (and the peace of mind). GRIN. Wish it was something I could do as well. Tai Chi just doesn't help with the weight loss like a hard karate workout would do.

Posted by: VW Bug at July 24, 2005 09:37 PM

Think of it like blogging. Do it for you! You don't blog for the recogniztion, money, or for more readers. You do it for you because you like it and it's a release.

Same difference!

I have thought about karate myself. I liked it when I was younger. Haven't found any beginning adult classes here, but I may continue to look.

Posted by: Sissy at July 24, 2005 09:42 PM

Do it.

Posted by: Jack at July 24, 2005 09:43 PM

What Jack said.

This is about more than you, you know.

Posted by: Dave at July 25, 2005 08:55 AM

If there will be no pressure from the instructors what do you have to lose?

I know Tai Chi isn't any where near what you do but I miss doing it. It's incredible that peace that it brought to me.

Posted by: Machelle at July 25, 2005 09:32 AM

It's difficult enough to find a physical activity you like, let alone one that will do so much for your mind as well.

I vote Yay.

Posted by: pam at July 25, 2005 03:17 PM

I think you should take up pistol shooting.

Posted by: TGOO at July 25, 2005 10:10 PM