It is 5:52 AM. I’ve washed the dishes, drank my wheatgrass, meditated and now it is time to write.
My body continues to be a little sore from karate class which is good and lets me know that I got a good workout in. I’ve become so used to soreness after the gym over these many years that I’ve come to like the feeling; if I’m not sore at all it means I’m overdue for a workout.
Karate isn’t easy though and is different from my image of it. In Kyokushin, there is a lot of full contact punching and kicking. I’m a beginner so upper belts still take it easy on me but Senpai Takasan has been attacking harder recently. It isn’t so much that the punches and kicks hurt so much, pads are worn after all, but rather stamina and becoming tired is much more of a problem. The first three minutes are ok but when we immediately switch partners and have to go again I’m pretty much out of gas and unfortunately that is when he starts to attack with more force. It is at this time that I remember long forgotten memories of wrestling in high school when I was completely exhausted. Westling in high school was the last time I’ve been exhausted but have to continue and mental toughness comes into play.
My natural reaction is to lock him up in a wrestling move – then I could rest as he cannot punch and kick – but unfortunately we’re not allowed to do this in karate. I learned blocks just last week so have started practicing those instead of grabbing. I’ve learned that real karate isn’t like all the fancy stuff seen on T.V. or in demonstrations. It is straight punches and kicks with movement, without any fancy stuff in sight.
I have to say I’ve never considered myself very mentally tough when it comes to continuing when completely exhausted. I’ve always preferred to go at my own pace but for a very long time. I’ve worked out on and off and to varying degrees since high school and continue now but do not huff and grunt like the meatheads. I just do my exercises quietly, quickly and then be done when I don’t want to do anymore. With language, I don’t study many hours or even minutes a day, but I study almost everyday for years and years. In writing this very blog, I just write what I think, year over year with very little proof reading, or effort in trying to make a great post with links, pictures and so on.
So I guess I disagree with the idea that you have to ‘push yourself to the limits’ every single time you do something. Hell, trying to do it that way makes most people eventually quit whatever it is they are doing. Not everyone has to try to be a champion and gold metal winner. Perseverance at a modest pace over the long term is a better strategy for me than ‘going all in’ all the time I guess.
Anyway, my body is pretty tired and sore which means I haven’t been going to the gym in the mornings. Today I have some very rare ‘me’ time so perhaps I’ll go for a hike. Or perhaps I’ll go to the closest thing we have to an onsen which is Archimedes Banya.