In many different ways we all like to push ourselves.  It's why we take on new challenges, try different things and move forward rather than opting out or standing still in life...right?

Not always so.  Sometimes, we like the "idea" of it more than the reality.  Goals take hard work, perseverance, determination.  As a kid, I loved the idea of being a black clad, shadow morphing, assassin one day.  The dark and mysterious type who said very little but was secretly a deadly human weapon of righteousness and justice.  Ha!  But I digress.

The point I'm making is that the challenge is not taking up a martial art, nor is it turning up to class, even when you'd rather be at home cooking a nice meal with the family.  The real challenge, is to be present and accountable for your efforts once you're on the mats.

Some rationalise that if they're kneeling in line and bowing in, then they're present, accounted for and putting in.  What does putting in really mean though?  Turning up is only the first part.  Putting in real effort, pushing through the discomfort, the exhaustion and sweat when your mind is telling you that your body can't make it through the next lot of squats or push-ups, or can't fathom another round of burpees...that's when you see your inner self.  Can you push?  Do you quit?  Do you shut your thinking mind off and see what your body is truly made of?  It's not about bravado, competitiveness or toughness.  It's about discovering your true measure.

If you come up short, that's cool.  Don't kick yourself.  All it means is that you have a bench mark now to try and pass.  Your true measure is not set in stone.  It will fluctuate, be sure of that!  But hopefully, the bar is always rising, not falling or standing still.  Don't get all down on yourself.  Just use that water line to help you rise higher next time.  "Pushing" doesn't mean self-flagellating or a masochistic mind-set.  It will incur sore muscles, busting lungs and sweating a bucket worth however, lets be real here.  Ultimately though, it's about testing and re-testing your inner resolve and motivational reservoirs.  Do you like the idea of it or are you willing to push to see the goal through to the end (if there is an end).  Try it.  You may surprise yourself and have an awesome time along the way.  After all, it's the journey (cliched, I know) that gives the greater joy, but you need the goal in order to have something to walk towards.

Travis de Clifford
Sessa Takuma Dojo


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