Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw
Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. try to be better than yourself.
For those of you who don’t know me, in addition to endurance sports I also practice Naginata, a Japanese martial art and I have done so on and off for the past 11 years. I went back to the dojo for the first time in a while on Thursday to a whole new world…
I’m not going to go into details as to why I chose Naginata as my martial art all those years ago. Suffice to say that it has been one of the anchors for my sanity and that, whenever I feel stressed, Naginata is usually one of the first places I’ll take refuge on.
It’s a totally new learning experience as the senior student as well. I’m used to being the junior yudansha student (those of us who have achieved sho-dan or higher) and in the middle of the pack as far as overall seniority. Now it’s different, those senior to me can’t practice on campus for some bureaucratic crap so I’m one of the few yudansha who are still practicing with the university Kendo and Naginata club.
I didn’t think it would be as challenging as it was on Thursday. It wasn’t challenging in the sense of being hard physical work but the fact that the higher you get the more it’s expected of you… Even though I haven’t been to practice in a long time I still know more than my juniors and I expect to be able to help and contribute in any way I can.
It is also seeing where I was when I first started and work with a new understanding of where they are at now and how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go to be able to teach Naginata on my own some day.
And strangely it has also brought me back full circle to last January when I was a beginning to train for Triathlons. At the time I was only going to do one sprint triathlon to say I had done it and be done with it… I’ve gone progressively higher, pushed just that much harder and now I can look at challenges that I would have never thought possible before.
And that is why I train Naginata an endurance sports. To continually push myself to where I didn’t think I was going to go.
Those who say it can’t be done should not get on the way of the people doing it.