“Gosh, you’re a master practitioner in Aikido,” I said, admiringly.
“I wouldn’t say that, it’s more like after thirty years of the practice I am just beginning, I’m always beginning,” the Aikido master replied; “There is no finish line in fitness, and various artforms, it is an ongoing journey to be approached with modesty and an open mind,” he continued. The conversation had an enduring, and profoundly helpful effect on me. It befitted Philosophy, translated from ancient Greek, meaning the love of wisdom. I also think it is true and relevant when it comes to most things, especially exercise. I’m grateful he shared his insights and company with me. He is now my Qi Gong teacher. It sure got me thinking. “I’m just beginning, I’m always beginningmy practice.”
Whether we are an elite athlete, a daily exerciser or just starting out with two perfect sit ups; we are always beginning. At PACTtrainingand Body Breath and Mind;we think it’s vital to begin (from wherever we are), continue, progress and maintain our healthy habits and exercise regimes for a lifetime and life style of well – being for ourselves, our family, friends, society and planet.
I’m sure you can relate to this. We’ve all started out on an exercise and healthy lifestyle quest with great intentions, thrown ourselves into it with great relish only for it to peter out eight to twelve (or sometimes shorter) weeks later. That initial high slides away; we get tired, fatigued, stop seeing progress, get sore muscles or injure ourselves. We use the words lacking discipline, motivation etc. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Maybe we came at our new or returning exercise regime (for we had a lapse that turned into a relapse back into our old habits) from the wrong philosophical perspective? We charged into it as opposed to being patient. So, let’s get philosophical to get physical, it’ll enable us to train our Body Breath and Mind for the rest of our time here on this wonderful planet.
How about we start with a new exercise philosophy(mindset) that we are always beginningirrespective of whether we can do one (with beautiful form) press up, sit up. That we are always beginningwhether we can run two hundred meters comfortably or a marathon. How about we draw up a realistic schedule, make a pact that we’re going to do it because its good for us, is part of our preventative health strategy. How about we look at our exercise in a self-mastery way (wow I can do this pose, rep etc). How about we look at it as being fun, social, political and societal. How about we focus on always beginning, beginning slowlyand surely, beginning to progress(with good technique and form that leads to mastery and strength). If we start from this new exercise philosophywe will progress, maintain and enjoy our healthy habits and exercise regimes. We will become like the Aikido master who is always beginningafter thirty years of practice. We will be like the worlds’ greatest surfer (Kelly Slater) who states he will be surfing Hawaii’s Banzi pipeline when he’s eighty. We will become the people Bruce Lee said he feared; “Not the men and women who skip five minutes here and there, they don’t bother me, it’s the men and women who skip every day for ten thousand days that I worry about.” Ten thousand days! Funny enough that equates to thirty years! So, how about we get a new exercise philosophythat sees us always beginningfor the next thirty years and beyond…