Any growth activity requires that we stretch our edges, extend our boundaries a bit. This is how we learn, how we grow, how we engage with challenges.
Twenty some odd years ago Aikido class was held only two evenings a week for about 90 minutes. You know where I would be found each Tuesday and Thursday evenings. With those being my only two options for class it was necessary to organize my schedule so that those two times were dedicated to class. It would take quite a disruption to my schedule to make me miss a class.
Now with classes 6 days a week, day and evening there is the same challenge with different qualities. The same challenge exists to prioritize time for a consistent training schedule. The qualitative differences are that we have more options and therefore more opportunities to say “there is always tomorrow.”
Consistent intentional training is the most important part of our training, in any growth activity. Each time we look at technique and feel technique we are able to better define what we are seeing. Through filtered lenses we observe. As we understand what we see in one filter we move it aside and explore the information the next filter has to offer. Eventually we build an understanding based on many layers of information (think about the images we get from the Hubble telescope). Just when we think we’ve got it we realize that there are more depths, more filters to look through.
Many times we start Aikido enthusiastically training often until we settle into a sustainable pattern. This works well. The student sees progress and often finds time on the mat is becoming a part of their support system for keeping a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Things happen that take us off of our schedule, our mat time, our support system. At first we are strong and make up classes at other times. As “things crop up” we find more and more excuses to adjust our mat time, until we no longer feel strong. In fact we get off of our game, we become ill more often and stress creeps into all facets of our consciousness. Then it becomes difficult to get back on the mat.
I can’t tell you how many times I witness this. I can’t tell you how many times I have had this conversation with myself, about my own behavior with the things I do for support, maintenance and growth.
Growth will happen with consistent intentional training. Newton got it. “For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.” or in other words you get out what you put in. Put your energy into your training the payoff is all about your life.