30 Days of Gratitude, Day 17: Karate

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karateI made a couple of brief forays into the martial arts when I was younger. Early in university, I spent a couple of months feeling around the edges of Shao Lin Kung Fu. But I thought my time might be better spent chasing girls and going to parties.

Later, a few months before my son was born, I attended karate classes a couple of times each week until just after he came along. Then I found I didn’t have the time for anything but being a father and providing for my suddenly growing family.

In early 2010, as a TV Turn Off Week activity, I took the kids to a local dojo and we had a great time. Not long after, my son and I joined. At times, my wife and oldest daughter have trained, too. But for me more than any of them, karate rapidly became an important part of my life.

More than five years later, it’s only grown.

There’s organized karate activity a couple of nights per week and often on a weekend or two during the month. I practice every day and I’m always working to expand what I know and can do. I read, I make notes, I watch video, and I learn as much as I can. There are always opportunities to learn.

Last fall, I successfully tested for my black belt. Three plus hours of mental and physical challenge. And I finished that grading with the full realization of how little I actually knew and with just the barest hint of how much I had to learn.

Left to my own devices, I’m happiest when I’m learning or creating something. With karate, there is always more to learn, and what I’m creating is the karate that suits me best in the process.

The study of karate has brought me a lot of joy and I have every hope that it will continue to for as long as I pursue it.

Be well, everyone.


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