Sometimes I wonder how much energy and time have I wasted on pointless exercise. All that mindless running, weight training, push-ups, sit ups, ‘warmup’ exercises and sparring that burned valuable energy, wasted time and did nothing to direct me where I needed to go.
You can’t put an old head on young shoulders but with hindsight I could have done things in a far more intelligent fashion. A lot of ‘traditional training’ had so many repetions of useless movement and the blind ignorance of teaching ‘in the way my instructors taught’.
Training should have a far more intelligent, structured approach than is commonly used and the ‘dumbed down’ approach that is heavily marketed these days based on vanity or or easy gains is just taking too many people away from the really valuable goals in life.
Any training to have value should include structured knowledge, intelligent use of it, mental, emotional, health and skill training working towards realistic goals.
It took me too long to realise that I had to properly and objectively identify my personal goals rather than take on those ‘marketed’ to me by my culture, coaches and peer pressure. My mind and emotions were my biggest problem and just ‘burning’ them off with over training to fatigue myself was the most stupid route I could take and only led to failure, injury and illness. Beating other people up to ‘win’ and feed my vanity was also exacerbating my problems not solving them.
I had to restructure myself and my training from the ground up. I had to learn to calm myself down physically, mentally and emotionally to see clearly instead of fatiguing myself to cope. So I learned mindfulness to calm down, become aware and focus myself, then meditation to gain insight in how to move forward with clarity.
I then had to learn balance, how to stand, walk, sit and lay maintaining that clarity and gaining the ability to feel where my body is in space at all times and how to use the minimum effort rather than the maximum I’d been taught before.
Then I had to study what I was doing each day to move towards those goals and drop all those bad training habits I’d collected over the years. The combination of mindfulness, meditation, neigong, qigong and tai chi was the perfect combination for me. I dropped karate, iaido, jodo and all other forms of exercise that didn’t lead toward those goals and then really started to improve. When I became seriously ill and disabled due to a surgeon’s incompetence it helped me to deal with the problems, mentally, emotionally and physically. I certainly wouldn’t have been prepared otherwise.
The enemies of the mind are laziness and distraction, we mindlessly take on goals that are fed to us by the ‘cult’ that is our culture and until we wake up and take the journey to discover what our real goals and objectives really are we mindlessly sleepwalk into burnout and injury.