In The Gap…

On one of my more recent runs before I went on a weekend running getaway – I thought about the importance of being in or creating Gaps. First let me explain especially if you’re a new follower or don’t know that I’m a martial art school owner and master teacher. Gap in the martial arts is the space between you and a sparring partner or more importantly a potential assailant. That space or distance gives you time to; getaway, create leverage, power, get the upper hand.

Gaps are useful in all aspects of our lives, for instance; in music (rests) create space for melody – In meditation the small gap between the in and out breaths is where we find peace. Gaps in our schedule allow for rest and this is what I’d like to discuss further.

I find it extremely beneficial not only to take time off but take time away and alone. We need to create a distance from our everyday lives where we can strip away our labels (daughter, boss, instructor, neighbor, cat mom, association member, sister) where we can be our genuine selves. People spend time at retreats, spas, ashram, hiking the Appalachian Trail seeking inner peace. I love just going away for a couple of days on my own to the mountains or the ocean. Where I can just be my genuine self — No expectations, no history just me.

It’s been way too long since I’ve done this August of 2016, was the last time. I don’t count vacations with family because there is only physical distance between home base, not from home. So this past weekend I ventured to Falmouth, for space, and a race. It was wonderful just to be a fly on the wall, to people watch and have no attachment to anything or anyone. To be me on my own, reading in lovely surroundings walking a beach – Finally able to listen to myself think without the interruptions of my roles’ responsibilities.

Then their was a 5 mile race where I was able to meet fellow sloggers, and experience running without knowing a route, enjoying the process, people, the views and experience. Where my only thought was enjoy, breathe and smile.

After the race on my drive home I thought about the G A P as an acronym; Gaining Another Perspective… 

What’s your Gap?

Run on G

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Willing to vs Wanting to…

I was introduced to this concept earlier this week at a program on anxiety. The facilitator Dr. Mark Schneider Ph.D, spoke on the differences of “wanting” and “willing” to do something. This struck a chord with me because I’ve always been fascinated with how some people will go through hell and back to accomplish something whereas others say they want something but can’t seem to get it…

Which calls to mind the many individuals who’ve crossed my path either as a student or a fellow martial artist — All seemingly wanting the same goal but ultimately most weren’t willing to achieve the goal of black belt. Ironically it had nothing to do with the individual’s ability or aptitude for martial arts most of the people who dropped out where very talented; In fact most of the students who struggled and learned from their presumed failures went on to become very good practitioners.

Then there was today. My training run just a short 2plus miles around the neighbor hood and I had to will myself into going. I’ve been working ridiculous hours in and out of the school without a break since January. I’m mentally and physically spent. Yet I knew if I could lace up my running shoes and take two steps out the door I’d get the work out in. You see I’m willing to run to get what I want; good health, energy, a better mood, and  maybe a fairly inspired blog post.

There are so many amazing individuals who will themselves to amazing things everyday. So my quick trip around the neighborhood is hardly newsworthy but it made me appreciate myself more. It made me feel better, and far less sorry for myself. So the next time you think about wanting something think about what you’re willing to do for it? Then as the ad says “Just Do It” or at least be willing to try!

Gin

Strides Down Memory Lane

Today’s long run took me to where it all began…

This morning I decided to head west out of my driveway toward the bike path (I’d grown weary of the hills of my usual run) and headed toward Barrington. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and at myself while running behind the Barrington shopping center — You see this is where I first started to run.

Prior to 1991 the only running I did were “errands” and “late”. That all changed after I found out the third day of my black belt test would have a run. The run would start on the newly paved East Bay bike Path behind the shopping center to the Barrington YMCA then through the woods of Veterans Park. While running there would be obstacles and martial art techniques that had to be employed on hidden attackers. My friend and I would drive to Barrington several times a week to practice the route and to get into “running” shape!

After my black belt test I continued to run sporadically until I decided to run my first 5k. this happened in 2000 I remember training and hating every minute of it until the day of the race when I fell in love with the running community and its’ comradery and passion. I decided my next challenge was to be the Newport Pie Run, a 5 mile race. I bought a white long sleeve shirt and had all my martial art students sign it, to keep me from chickening out! I ran the Pie Run for about eight to ten years before I had to quit to help my mother with Thanksgiving preparations.

In 2010 I got a couple of friends and students to do the CVS 5k with me most of them quit running it years ago except for my friend Carol and me we’ve run/slogged/walked every year since! We both love it and celebrate it like a holiday. I’ve run a few other 5k’s each year but this year I’ve taken on the challenge of running a half marathon — Hence my long run training that brought me back to the beginning.

Martial art has changed my life in so many ways; Running is just one of them. Which is why I smiled and said a prayer of gratitude while running on the bike path toward the YMCA today, still making strides…

Ginnie

Life Odometer @60

Remember when the odometer on a car just flipped instead of flash?

If you do then your life odometer is close to mine…

I remember my first car when I’d try to recall each major odometer milestone 1000 miles happened on President Avenue Fall River, and so on…

Now that my life’s odometer hit 60 years I’m suddenly more aware of personal milestones; where I’ve been, where I am and yes, where I’m going…

Life’s journey is not so much different than a road trip; the past is in the rearview, the present is behind the wheel, and the future is on the GPS…

I’m trying to be very aware of where I am and how I got here so I can plan my next turn. I’ve been inspired by my young students who’ve graduated to black belt. One of whom gave me a bracelet with “It’s not a sprint, It’s a marathon” on it. An awesome reminder that I’m in it for the long haul. I’ve also have been rejuvenated in my running through reading Runners World the amazing stories of runners in their 70’s running ultras and the many other runners who’ve over come challenges. This has motivated me to take on a half marathon. Which ironically will be right about when my odometer will hit 60.5…

Good to be back!

Gin

Martial Arts Magic

To explain how I’ve seen Martial Arts transform people would take more than a blog post it would take VOLUMES!

I’ve been blessed to experience the magic myself. Twenty-eight years ago I walked into my instructors school looking for some self-defense. I did get a few pointers (wink) on defense. I also got in shape, learned to love running and how to train. Yet the greatest magic was discovering ME and who I was meant to be a TEACHER.

Today I saw that same magic in action at a small affiliation tournament. One of my students overcame one of his fears and competed. My other students who witnessed this performance, also have had the experience of slaying one of their personal dragons.

So when the tournament was through, we all applauded the small victory of third place but celebrated the real victory – Self-Confidence!

God I love my Job…

Ginnie, AKA Master A

Yielding…

It amazes me how we mentally adjust to the seasons. Right now I feel as though my body/mind is yielding for the winter… With the physical energy of summer waning and the weather changes forcing me inside. I find myself going inside my head. Sitting quietly no longer seems like time wasted but time needed.

I’m sure this feeling will change come February when cabin fever sets in. As for now I will try to  go with the slow flow…

I know in martial arts we yield our energies all the time, maybe its time to practice what I preach!

Namaste,

Ginnie

Lifetimes…

Testing students for black belt is always a pleasure. This is because you’ve had an opportunity to see their growth, in the art and as individuals. Then there are the students that literally grow up. That was the case today where one candidate started at age five and the other at age eight.

What an honor to have been a part of their lives – To hopefully have been an influence on these young men and the others who came before them. What a blessing to be able to share the arts – To have all these lifetimes intersect  with mine.

Namaste,

Ginnie