Random thoughts in the pool...

Swam a little less than 2km today at the local pool. Incorporated Noshi, Nukite and the other strokes taught to me by Unsui. As I love to surf I also try to include elements of breath control, duress practise etc., and use some strategies suggested by a friend in the military (Adam). I was feeling pretty tired today which was probably due to feeling tired yesterday and trying to overcome it. I did manage to sneak a kettle bell session, do a little personal training with a cousin and then a good session of dead lifts to 'cool down'. This morning I felt quite flat, lethargic and drained. This type of feeling rears its ugly head every 2-3 weeks although if I'm really gunning it, i.e. working out hard every day, then it can appear more frequently. I do my best to overcome this feeling and adopt various methods to inspire and motivate. This may include watching movies, clips on youtube, books and at times (although I do try to avoid) copious amounts of espresso and/or red bull. Whilst in the pool today though, several thoughts, ideas, problems etc., presented themselves and did their best to distract and interrupt me. Namely, is it good to train whilst tired, i.e. do we ignore these feelings and brush them off? Of course there have been occasions when I have been dragging my feet after an intensely busy schedule, struggle to even think about anything and feel the gravitational pull of my bed. However at times when one is flat, tired and just not up for it then how should one respond? Sensei would always notice this in the dojo and nonchalantly confirm it with the dreaded, "Kyo choushi yokunai na" (You don't seem to be in good form today, do you?). There are days where one cannot perform at one's peak, feel ill and achy etc. During my time performing and participating in keiko in Japan, I would always make a point of making it to the dojo no matter how I felt. Even during times when I had broken something, torn this ligament, strained that tendon etc, I would always do my best to make it to the hombu, watch, learn and try to be inspired (with the belief that this would promote and accelerate healing). How hard do we push? What is wise? Would this discussion even occur in times of old or would they simply have laughed it off and thought absolutely nothing of it?
The second dominant thought refers to Unsui's statement, "To become extraordinary you have to live extraordinarily". I wonder if this has something to do with it? Is it simply a matter of pushing and overcoming that inner procrastinator? I recall a day at local gym near to where I was living in Abiko, Japan. There men there in their 60's and 70's running on treadmills, lifting weights that even I would struggle with and some flexible as yogi. I would ask them what it was that kept them going, kept them in shape and what was their secret that allowed to perform like someone in their 20's or 30's. Time and time again it was, "keep going, never stop and always keep things in moderation". Maybe that's it.


Richard said…
IMHO there are two separate issues here: 1) Listening to your body, and 2) Maintaining an active and fulfilling lifestyle for the long run. These two things are not mutually exclusive. I think that as embodied in Buddhism you should follow the middle path i.e. not too much and not too little. If you over train you will not be able to sustain yourself either physically or psychologically. You will burn out eventually. On the flip side you have to be honest with yourself about how much effort you are putting into your keiko. As I said earlier ‘not too much AND not too little’. From my limited understanding this balancing act is reflected in the concept of ninpo i.e. perseverance and, IMHO, adaptability. I’m probably talking a load of rubbish but that’s my 2 cents.
Miss training with you guys. Please keep updating the blog Moz as it means a lot to me.
Bufu Ikkan

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