Recent events and seeing old friends has had me feeling nostalgic lately. Despite my best efforts to try and keep myself going, the reality is that time affects us all. And what one is capable of at one point in life may not be what we’re capable of in the years to follow.
I’m reminded of a point in my martial arts training from almost fifteen years ago. I had reached brown belt and somehow I had hit a slump. My techniques weren’t quite as crisp, my kicks felt laborious and my energy just wasn’t there as it used to be. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. I was only in my mid-20’s and had been training more than consistently.
It reached a point where it was starting to affect my mood and my perspective of karate. This is not a good thing when you’ve made karate a permanent part of your life. I started dragging ass and getting down about the whole thing, until Sensei sat me down and snapped me out of it. He explained that everyone has low points and everyone hits a slump time and again. The important part is to keep pushing and working through it. Otherwise, that slump will take you over if you lie down and let it happen.
Eventually, I pushed through whatever was holding me back and went on to black belt. And it’s a good thing I did. If I hadn’t pushed and continued on, I might have missed out on a lot of the great things that followed. And that’s the important lesson: no matter what difficulties you may be facing in the here and now, your perseverance will help you to get through it and be receptive to the positive things to come.
I’ve spent my entire life pushing hard to achieve my goals. Even in the face of life-altering difficulties, no self-respecting person can/should do otherwise. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and never stop fighting. If you give your best effort, once the smoke clears, there can only be warm sunrises and better things on the horizon. Stay strong! ☯