My apologies for the late post (although lets get real, I think Monday’s are just going to become my new days!). My keyboard died last night for some unexplainable reason so now I am uploading this post with my iPad which I don’t particularly like typing on (although Master Pearson assures me I will get used to it).
At any rate, it was interesting to read both Master Pearson and Ms.Doll’s reflections of the Winter Retreat and I had the opportunity to share some for my own thoughts last week. Ill present just a few more here and i too will shut up about it!
As everyone, it seems, has mentioned, the retreat and the lessons learned therein have a tendency to stay with a participant for a while. Like I brought up last week, in the days following the retreat people have a tendency to strive to make huge life changes or commit themselves to unrealistic goals for their martial arts practice or personal life and Master Pearson has often used his closing talk to warn against this. I have often fallen victim to the this sort of post-retreat withdrawal which leads to ineffective thoughts and actions. For instance, in the days after a retreat, I might, as I did this year, spend a few hundred dollars on Amazon buying martial arts books that sit unopened on my shelves or something of that nature. These actions often do not originate out of a desire to actually learn or practice more but rather out of a depression, feeling of withdrawal, homesickness, or sense of unfullfillment that the retreat and its sentiment of reunion (from a social perspective) and can often leave a person feeling in its aftermath. Perhaps i have often fell victim to this more than most because for the last ten years or so I have not lived in Rochester…so all those other people have the chance to see each other, Master Pearson, and train in a regular class just a few days later, but I do not get that opportunity). Anyway, As soon as those feelings go away, when one settles back into one’s non martial arts revolving routine (If you are so unfortunate), those goals fall by the wayside, that intense practice ceases, because it is no longer filling a perceived need.
Where am I going with this…no I do not mean to present some psycho analytical babble for which Im completely unqualified…
This year, I preempted that…Hagsaeng Naebu has been amazing at providing me with the essential practice I need in my life, despite my geographic distance and busy schedule. The fact that I have meaningful and fulfilling work to which I dedicate an insane number of hours also has left me with little time to dwell on the things I wish I could be doing. Also, some age and a bit a more experience has helped…I am simply better at setting realistic goals for my life now than I was as a college freshman (no offense Ms. Cheung, Mr. Worden, or any other first years who may be reading this!).
So instead of leaving the retreat this year with an insane list of ridiculous martial arts goals that I know I’ll give up on after a week or so, this year I came up with two that I consider attainable…
1. Construct the apparatuses from Hagsaeng Naebu that do not require a partner to use and actually use them once a day. — so far this has been far easier than i would have thought. I have made the weighted hoop as I posted last week and on Saturday I fixed to make it a little bit more functional. Super easy — who knew. On Saturday I also made a “baby” (wow that sounds really inappropriate!!!) one of the weighted PVC pieces that helps work on grip. Also surprisingly easy (despite ms. Doll’s really poor directions on the topic!!!). Thank god Master Pearson checked his text message while I was still in home depot and called me with a little more instruction. So those are done and I am proud to report that I have used them at least once a day.
2. Incorporate SOME type of practice into my day off routine: I don’t care what it is, but this goal forces me to use at least part of my day off (Monday) to practice something, anything. Last week I used it to make the weighted hoop, this week I spent an hour working on the tai chi long form which I’ve been teaching myself for about a month. I also discover a judo class several months ago that meets on Monday evenings about half an hour away so even though I was not do pleased with it the first time I went, I have committed myself to giving it another try and allowing this to fulfill my Monday personal requirement.
And that’s it…attainable, doable, effective, and leaves room for growth. I should add though, a third goal of reading more martial arts related material when I’m not reading for work (hence the hundreds of dollars on amazon) but that’s only because Master Pearson told me during dokcham that I had too..and I only picked out stuff that he would have chosen for me off his own shelf, which is a Hagsaeng Naebu requirement anyway, so this isn’t so much a personal goal but just my way of circumventing authority figures!
So that’s all…p.s. I hate typing on the iPad!
P.p.s. I have pictures of the apparatuses I made but I’m not sure how to upload them from here. So I will try to do it later…sorry!