April 8th 2012
From Sensei Larry Link
Ueshiro Midtown Karate Dojo
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back....
At certain times during the course of our training, we will experience various setbacks - injuries, major life events, psychological and emotional changes. These "one steps back" are completely normal and expected. However, it is how we handle these setbacks that shape our overall training, and ultimately, what will define our character.
Recently, I experienced a setback, a shattered right heel suffered during a fall, requiring surgery and rehabilitation (a MAJOR step back) For starters, it was painful and traumatic. I couldn't walk, let alone train, for at least 2 months and maybe more. I had to readjust my entire way of life including where I lived (a 3-story walk-up didn't work anymore), how I got around (from rushing everywhere to using crutches for every step), and virtually every other element of my daily life including how I bathed, ate, and slept.
in spite of not being able to train in a traditional way, my karate training served me well during this entire experience (stepping forward) Physically, my body was stronger than it might have been. I could use my upper body to lift myself and maneuver. And my "balance on one foot" skills were tested to the max! Psychologically, I could have easily allowed myself to feel depressed. But instead, I heard the voices of my Sensei and the Shinden ringing in my head, urging me to stay strong, to keep stepping forward!
Just last week, I got the news that my bone has healed. So stepping forward, right? Well, yes and no since I now needed to learn how to walk again. (Another step back, all the way to infancy this time!). But once again, my karate is there by my side. I know exactly how to train and push myself. I can fully visualize what those next two steps forward look like. And I have the power and energy of the Shinden and the thousands who have gone before to carry me forward.
I am strong. I am ready. I am stepping forward. And I am so grateful for this gift of karate that fills my body and spirit.
your humble deshi,