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

From Here…

Did you ever wake up some mornings and say to your self how did I get here? I’m not speaking of the what happens in Vegas kind of mornings, but the morning awakenings that jar you into the present. You know the kind, the yesterday I was twenty something and had it all figured out and today I’m fifty something and haven’t a clue! You can’t figure out where the time went, how you got to be who you are and sometimes you’re not even sure you know yourself!

So what do you do from here? You can roll over and forget you’ve just received a notice from God/The Universe/Your Higher Power or you take advantage of the message and answer those questions. How? By looking for what moves your spirit. What inspires you? Start by listening to your inner voice trusting your gut! Many of us feel unfulfilled because we’ve followed paths created by others.

The next step is decide what you want and ask for it… Be willing to accept all that will come along with it – Nothing is for free. We always have karma to pay back…

As for me, I’m figuring that out, I’ll keep lacing my shoes and run, tying my belt and teach but I’ll be sitting quietly and listen to what my heart desires…

Namaste,

Ginnie

Next Steps…

I’ve noticed a lot of changes in the lives of people around me and including me. Some have lost loved ones. Others have gone off to college or changed jobs or simply moved away. For what ever reason many of us are on the precipice of our next step. No matter how large or small the step maybe, it still can be daunting. Especially to those of us who don’t deal well with change.

In the next couple of months I’ll be preparing to leave a space I’ve occupied for over twelve years.The current training area of my karate school has been a source of  inspiration, heartache and celebration – Soon it will be a memory. After twelve great years we will be moving to an adjacent area in the plaza which is more affordable. Although the move should require very little labor or disruption it will be difficult to leave. There are so many “next steps” that will be left behind as we march into the future…

I wonder where this Next Step will lead? I’m looking forward to the challenges that await my martial art family and me. The path has been interesting so far…

Ginnie