Home > Injuries, Judo, Learning, Life, Listening, passion, Reason, School > Applying reason to passion.

Applying reason to passion.

On Wednesdays, my club has a rotating black belt instructor class. This gives the club a chance to learn from all of our black belts, who came up the ranks from different clubs and even different countries. I really like this concept, and unfortunately the class has been pretty lightly attended lately. So when I showed up last night, I was the only one there besides the instructor. This has happened before with me and this particular instructor. But he said would work with me since I took the time to show up. Something that I’ve loved about our club from the start is that the high ranks are really invested in the progression of the low ranks. This black belt has taken a lot of time with me to help me improve.

As I was about to get changed, he asked me how my hip was. “Well,” I said, “it doesn’t hurt all the time now, but I’m still limited. I can’t really fall yet, and there are some throws that I still shouldn’t do.” He looked at me with that perplexed, frustrated look that parents often reserve for their children. “Then why are you here?” he asked me. “You’re young. You take a week off. No judo for one week, then you come back a new-born person.” Of course, I didn’t really have a good answer to his question, so I think I just frowned and sighed.

Two more people did show up for class, and my instructor worked with me since he’s a little injured, too. He kept reminding me to STOP if I started hurting. So when this point arrived during the course of the class, he told me again that I needed to take a full week off. I started to protest. “But I keep thinking about when school starts again in the Fall and I’ll only be able to come to practice once or twice a week. I don’t want to take that much time off now.” I think I sounded whiny and desperate. So he broke it down for me.

“Lori, look, school starts and you make a schedule. I get up at 5 o’clock in the morning.  I have three kids. My wife works nights. I still come here.  I mean, sometimes you know I have to stay late for work and I can’t. Sometimes they call me up and there’s a problem, I have to fix it. When I’m injured, I can’t take too much time off because I’m old now. It takes me so long to get back into shape. But you’re young. Judo will be here. You take one week off, and you come back a new-born person.”

I sighed. He smiled.

“Look, I understand. When you have a passion, and I know I sound like a movie right now, you have a passion you make it work. You make a schedule. Take one week off. Judo will be here.”

While there is no crying in judo, I almost teared up while my instructor was talking to me. Just listening to him describe his day-to-day gave me a lot to think over. If he’s getting up at 5:00 in the morning and coming to practice, he’s not getting home until after 10:00 at night.  He also teaches the kids class on Saturday. He’s been practicing judo  for at least 30 years. You don’t casually stick with something three decades.

He and I definitely had this conversation before. We had it just two weeks ago. Previously, I’ve listened to him, but I didn’t really take it to heart. Something last night in his words made me have one of those moments where I realized I don’t know anything about anything. What do I know about sacrifice and commitment? What do I know about compromise? What do I know about patience? At this point in my life, not much.

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