A beautiful fall day. 70 degrees, sunny with a breeze. My mind is full yet restless on this Autumn morning. It won't be long before the snow will begin to fly. Winter's fine through January anyway. Luckily this year I'm off on a Caribbean sailing trip in February to break up the cold. Shortly after, Spring will arrive, followed by Summer. Then of course Autumn will come once again repeating the cycle.
Life and training is like this as well. There are seasons. The things we practice, the lives we live, the people we become, the generations we represent all change, yet if you look, there are noticeable patterns and cycles. If we are open to it we can broaden and deepen our experience with each new cycle, but to do this we must be in this moment while we connect the dots from our previous experiences.
If it's fall, but we act as if it is still summer, not only will we miss the beauty of the season we are in, we may do inappropriate and ineffective things. Wearing short sleeve shirts, shorts, flipflops and no jacket is appropriate on warm days, but not when the temp dips in the 40's. This happens to us a people as well. For instance, I have been fortunate enough to have been training [martial arts] my entire life, so I have seen many [training] seasons come and go. I don't train the same way now at 46 as I did in my teens, 20's, or 30's. I won't be training the same in my 50's, 60's or beyond either. Luckily I have teachers who are further down the path than I am, so I can see how they are training and learn how I can keep going as well.
We see this in life too. Women in their 40's dressing and trying to act like their 20 something daughters. Older men getting caught up in their egos and competing with the young studs for respect and/or attention from the ladies.
There is nothing wrong with being young at heart, looking, acting and dressing modern and youthful. People are in better shape mentally, physically, emotionally and socially than they ever have been, but some are trying too hard to hang on to a season that has past.
Another aspect of this season analogy is referring to our training. Eventually when you've been training a while, you will get to a point where it gets difficult to cover everything you know into a training session or even a number of training sessions. For instance in our Krav class, we rotate our curriculum so that we cycle through different situations, strategies, tactics and techniques. Each time we come back to a particular topic we hit it in greater depth. Also, each time a student cycles through the same material, they can have a different experience to either broaden or deepen their knowledge of what they are training. Some cycles are longer than others. Like the earth revolving around the sun, some subjects come around quite frequently, while other things like Haley's Comet, may take longer to orbit. Days, weeks, months, years, decades may pass between a rotation, however the person who treats their training like a laundry list to be checked off will never benefit from this, because they may believe that everything to know about the subject they've learned from their first exposure to it in that first training. So when it comes around again they shut off learning believing that it is boring and something they already "know." Therefore they'll miss the opportunity to deepen their understanding and ability.
Live in each season. Learn from each season. Appreciate each season.
Now I am going to go out to live, learn and appreciate this season! What a beautiful day!!