Saturday, August 27, 2011

Accepting that BJJ has come, and will come, to me.

So I've completely broken out of my Monday-Wednesday-Friday, I-train-three-days-a-week pattern.

As structured and disciplined as I can be, it bores me after a period and I need to shake things up to keep myself from feeling stagnant. Perhaps expectantly, this has helped me genuinely internalize the fact that I will internalize this art and, while periods of increased effort do provide benefit, if they are done so out of pursuit of one intangible or out of fleeing another, well, they've become to strike me as futile. It may be the stage in life at which I walked through the doors...I started after checking the "supposed to" boxes in my life and began when I decided I had room to get back to the things that are unique to, and define me.

Reflective story shallow, I had a good day today. Fiona helped another green belt and I today prep for some of our blue belt requirements. Something about training on a Saturday afternoon...with the lighter, less rigid atmosphere, absent of the pressures to get enough sleep to perform well at work the next day...that makes training feel genuine...or maybe more that I'm genuinely practicing the art, not just showing up for a class or trying to perfect a move.

The original hoary old man

Oddly, I heard KickboxerInstructor today reference a poem by Walt Whitman, and then a few hours later, my mother reference Abraham Lincoln, who the same poem is about. It's a beautiful and poignant call to a man who had a goal that he didn't live to see. It made me wonder how many goals in life we'd pursue if we knew there were a chance we'd never get that "prize".

Every day I find myself more fascinated with the career of John Danaher, much celebrated BJJ coach and instructor who doesn't compete, yet advises some of the best competitors in the business. Some say it's because he's injured or scared, others because he's simply of a type that isn't concerned with the "test". Perhaps for reasons of personal bias, perhaps not, but I'd like to believe the latter.

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; 
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won; 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring: 
    But O heart! heart! heart!         5
      O the bleeding drops of red, 
        Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;  10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding; 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 
    Here Captain! dear father! 
      This arm beneath your head; 
        It is some dream that on the deck,  15
          You’ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will; 
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done; 
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;  20
    Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells! 
      But I, with mournful tread, 
        Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
          Fallen cold and dead.

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