The Hamburger Challenge

I have a wacky sense of humor. If I am obviously smothering giggles in the dojo when nothing funny has happened, no doubt I deserve pushups for something I came up with all on my own.  So when I came to the middle of one of Andrea Harkins’ wonderful, inspiring articles – I couldn’t resist.   She wrote:

burger-783551_640… every moment of my life presents another topic, idea, or interest that I can relate to martial arts. I can relate my hamburger, a tree, or a bad day to martial arts and find something positive to say about it.

Well, I’ve already done the tree.   Now it’s time for the hamburger.  I’d like to challenge all you martial arts bloggers out there to sometime in the next month relate a hamburger to martial arts in a positive uplifting article.

Here’s mine.

After a good hour and a half working out at a sister dojo, I decided to join my fellow karateka at one of my favorite restaurants.  Class times for the dojos I go to are during either dinner or lunch hours, so I’m used to wacky meal times and I eat according to what my body will tolerate.  Usually after class I eat lightly because bedtime isn’t far off, but this time around, I knew I’d be lingering, enjoying the company.  I wanted a nice big hamburger.

At the time we ordered, I was the lowest ranked at that end of the table, flanked by and sitting across from some of the highest ranked – purely by accident as we were the ones who arrived first, so we left easy access to the table for those who came after.  The particular burger I was craving was a little messy – uh oh, what would so and so think if I slopped food on my shirt?  I also realized I was sitting with someone who’s on a diet – and I’m still making an effort that way myself.  What would that person think of my very caloric, high-fat choice?  I suspect someone else might be a vegetarian – yike.

Yeah, feel free to laugh – I had second thoughts about my burger based on stupid assumptions I’d made about what other people would think.  I should know better by now – I’ve hung out with these karateka enough to know they’re not like the kids in my junior high school!

I scolded myself, confidently ordered the Bacon Blue Cheese Burger and promptly kept myself busy listening to my table mates and occasionally contributing to the conversation.  I enjoyed every bite of that burger.  And yes, I did get a little bit of grease/cheese on my pants.  But nobody, including me, cared one bit.

Maybe for some adults and teenagers the decision to take up a martial art could be muddled up with anxieties similar to those I had when I was considering whether or not I should order that burger.   What will my friends think?  How will I respond when they say it’s too dangerous for an aging body?  What if I become the school laughingstock?  Would Zumba or joining a garage band be better choices?

If you’re on the brink of that decision and are anxious about what other people think – stop and think.  I was hungry and I wanted that burger in all its tasty artery-clogging glory.  How badly do you want that martial art?  That night I was among friends who wouldn’t speak about my food unless it was to politely ask if it was good – maybe with an eye towards ordering the Bacon Blue Cheese Burger themselves next time.  Are your friends true enough to respect your choices?   Maybe there’s one friend who might even join you!

Oh my gosh, I knew we shouldn’t have practiced knife defense with real knives!
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Go for it. Savor every bit of what you’re learning. And who cares what others think?

UPDATE: Responses to the challenge! Way to go!!!

Andrea Harkins – The Martial Art-Hamburger Theory


Author: Joelle White

I began training in Karate in June of 2014 after a 27 year hiatus.

5 thoughts on “The Hamburger Challenge”

  1. Lol. If you were sitting next to me you would have felt even more anxious……I am vegan and gluten intolerant…..I really enjoy socialising with the Karate crowd. The last time we went out at the end of the term the sensei and I shared dinner as he is also vegan. The time before he actually gave me the confidence to just order what i wanted rather than trying to find something suitable on the menu…..even though I have been vegan longer than him, i had just blindly accepted that unless it was an asian or indian place i wd be destined to just have salad. The first time I went out after a network seminar, my first sensei sat next to me and although eyeing off my salad (same place) ate the biggest steak I have seen! It is good to chat about life in general and find out a bit more about each other……and to quietly look how people eat…blog about Karate and hamburgers…..hmmmm challenge….

    1. Hi, Rach (by the way, I actually saw sagi ashi dachi in the context of a black belt kata last night!)

      So for you, if you’re ever in my neck of the woods, the vegetarian chili at that restaurant is excellent according to my Mom and one of my Karate pals. Not sure but I think they might brew their own gluten-free ales at that restaurant too.

      LOL, from your comment it looks like you can play off my theme a bit and relate your restaurant experience to how we’re all different in life and in Karate 🙂

    1. Ossu, Ando and LOL! Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the compliments! So are you going to do a hamburger post? 🙂

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