Week 5 day 1 – On persistence

Recently, Robert Nadeau Sensei did a series of seminars. The theme was “Don’t ask what you have to do to get ‘this’ done. Ask who you have to be.”

I regret not going, however, I can do some thinking about this theme and take it to my own conclusions. There is a saying in T’ai Chi, “The mind moves the chi and the chi moves the body.” I think that both of these thoughts are extremely profound. I am finding that both of I can enact both of these themes in my life, then I can live better and healthier.

I am one for small examples. I think that it is much more worth our endeavors to have small examples of positive action and thought than one big one. We can create small examples many more times than we can create the big ones. So, my small example today is this:

I took a fall in Aikido on Saturday. We were doing some free form training (Jiyu waza) and as I uke’d for my training partner, I got tangled up in his legs as he threw me. Rather than roll out of the throw I came straight down on my shoulder. I had never hurt myself in Aikido before and felt upset that I let this happen to me. I quickly thought that all of my efforts for the last few weeks would be for naught and that I would not be able to go to the gym for a few days or train.

But, Nadeau Sensei asks of us, “Who do we have to be to be to get ‘this’ done?” I think I know the answer. I have to be persistent, determined, patient and consistent. This doesn’t mean killing myself. This does mean taking care of my shoulder with ice, ibuprofun and arnica cream and waiting till I got up this morning to see if I could go to the gym. My shoulder still hurt. It wasn’t as bad as Saturday or Sunday but it still hurt. Well, there are other things I can do there. I can jump on an elliptical rider for 30 minutes. So I dd. 30 minutes. I may do this again on Wednesday and then attempt weights again on Friday. Part of the process for me is just simply knowing my limits, and working with them. This means I need to neither over or underestimate them. I can’t lift, but I can walk. So I’ll walk.

OK, I have to start my day now. See you next time.

Onegai shimasu!


One Comment Add yours

  1. James says:

    Great stuff Mark! Glad to see you're blogging about your martial process. I've always found that my injuries through martial arts – or whatever – give me some of the best information about the body (which is helpful for 'somatic' arts like aikido/tai chi ect.) I look forward to hearing more…

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