Yes, I know – the title of this post loans itself well to the British synonym for “crazy.” And maybe I am a bit crazy. Other ladies my age are comfortably doing safe things like Zumba and swimming. Ah well, “normal” is merely a setting on the dryer…
Initially I had some trouble thinking of how different I will be mentally at Shodan vs. where I am now. Of course I came up with really off-the-wall wacky stuff to joke about – things like floating in the air while doing meditation and bending spoons without touching them. But it took me awhile to come up with the idea that I’ll have had loads of practice dealing with the “inner demons” I’ve already encountered. So when I encounter them again (and again and again) I’ll have loads of experience to draw on.
I’m just going to name some of these “inner demons.” I’m sure they’re familiar to all of us and none of us like to dwell on them…
1) Imposter syndrome
2) Self doubt
4) Giving respect even when it’s hard to give it
7) Exhaustion (mental and physical)
9) Juggling family, work, and Karate
12) Remembering the battle is not with the other guy (or gal) but within me
I know, this is not an exhaustive list and it’s all kinda nebulous – some of these merge into others. We face down a lot of our inner demons on the mats. Sometimes the battle is silent and sometimes it’s there for everyone to see and hear. I don’t think dealing with these things will get any easier, it’s just that over time, and certainly by the time I reach Shodan in roughly 7-10 years, I’ll have had more practice.
My online acquaintance, Mr. James Bullard confirmed my idea and added his experience,
“The bad news is, you’ll probably be facing those demons for most, if not all, of your time in the martial arts. The good news is, they get smaller (or maybe you get “bigger?”) the further you go.”
I like the idea of me getting bigger. Not long ago in a post-class lecture, my Sensei briefly touched on a very good reason for being in Karate in the first place: namely, to change one’s self (I’m paraphrasing). I liken mental development to strengthening the core muscles – our spirits have “cores” too. I hope my core will be nice and strong by the time I reach Shodan.
MORE BETTERER PART IV – oh, and feel free to burst any bubbles that might need bursting 🙂