Monday, August 29, 2011

Going Swimmingly Well

As you know from other recent posts, I am spending more time swimming these days.  I have a regular Monday morning class in which we have been working on freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly. 

This has more to do with martial arts training than you might think.

It is easy to imagine that low-impact cardio improves martial arts performance.  However, there are many other similarities.  I list some that come to mind below:
  • both should be learned from the best teacher you can find
  • both are great ways to spend time with your family, and great gifts of knowledge to give your children
  • both might just save your life one day  (you hope you never need to use them in an emergency)
  • both depend on proper breathing, and you cannot assume you know how to do this correctly unless you have been taught
  • both are less about strength and more about technique, especially for endurance
  • both are ultimately battles to submit the body to the mind
  • both may be done against others, but ultimately are determined by ourselves
  • both need regular practice practice practice --- of course  :-)
I started swimming in April in an attempt to avoid a negative spiral in my life.
It goes like this:

I did not enjoy swimming because I was bad at it. 
I was bad at swimming so I never did it. 
I never did it so I never got any better at it. 
I never got any better so I never learned to enjoy it. 

This was an endless cycle for more than 35 years, until this year.

Now I love to swim.  I feel my progress every week, and I genuinely enjoy getting better and better at it.  Every new milestone I reach makes me feel proud.  Martial arts has always been like this for me, and I learned it applies to a lot of other things as well. 

What about you?  What are the negative spirals in your life?  Can you make a plan and conquer them?  Can you use your martial arts training as a way of understanding how to go beyond your limitations? 

I want to hear your stories as much as I want to share my own. 


1 comment:

Erica said...

Very helpful tips! Thanks. Great blog!

Mr. Martial Arts