Tuesday, September 11, 2007

As I lay me down to sleep...

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about why I train. As this blog has established, training makes me very happy. Usually, I'm not one to question happiness, I'll take what I get, but it's curious that something that can hurt so much, that can be so challenging and exhausting keeps bringing me back. I love everyone at temple, of course, but what it really comes down to is how I feel during class and how it makes me feel outside of the temple. There's the obvious: I feel in shape, I feel strong, I can eat all the cupcakes I want without (too much) guilt. While I'm in class what I feel is hot and tired. But those things are all the surface aspects of training. What makes me happy are the things training churns around underneath. All the things we're asked to do, train harder, be honest, push yourself, and so forth, have done a lot to get me to understand myself better, and though in class I am panting and dreaming of lemonade, underneath I'm thinking about challenging and mastering myself and so forth, and that has turned out to help me in and out of temple.

I know it's different for everyone, but to me, training is about seeing yourself very clearly; you're forced to be honest, whether learning something surprising about yourself or seeing things you already knew but can't always admit. In my case it's knowing when I'm cutting corners, knowing when I am focusing on the wrong goals, being too competitive, being unfocused, and being impatient. But also understanding when I'm happy and what things actually matter to me. I focus on those things as I train, and now I'm better able to identify them in my daily life as well. It's not about "finding yourself" in the after-school-special sense. It's taking the self you have and, as Niederwelt has said, clearing away all the b.s. and understanding what you've got left. I know that's not a new concept or anything, just tonight I guess it really struck me, with testing coming up, and me trying to focus on all the little problems in all my moves and forms, and consequently doing so at work and at home. Coming to the realization that, while you don't always learn the things you expect or want to know, you end up learning the things you need to know. So for now, I guess that's why I train and why I keep coming back for more. That and the cupcakes...


  1. I train because I love you guys.

    :* :* :*

    And because I secretly admire the smell of my own sweat.

  2. This is why I train:

    KUNG-FU (Feature Film)

    Looking for: [ CAINE ] Male, 20-35. Caine was raised by Shaolin monks after his mother'’s murder and became a highly skilled fighter. In addition to being a strong actor with the right look, the actor for this role should be athletic and although not required, some martial arts training, gymnastics or ballet are a plus.


    And I really love cupcakes... and chocolates... and sweets... and dessert... creme brulee... apple pie a la mode... pancakes a la mode... chocolate chip pancakes... chocolate chip pancakes with lots of maple syrup and butter... Tiramisu... cookies... coblers... TRAIN HARDER!!!

  3. yeah those truffles we had were to die for!

  4. hooray to the reward system! i can't even begin to talk about the myriad reasons i train but i will say the company is definitely great & illuminating! it helps to keep me coming back for more.

    leo, we should just make that movie as a team. surely we have enough talent at USAST to make it work. now just the funding...

    my sweat smell still bothers me a bit...