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:
… 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.
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!
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!!!