Mental Lyrics

January 22, 2017 by Rieshy

The drive to the dojo,
so full of opportunity for that closed loop, auto-play self talk of pep or dismay.

Which begs the question, "Why?"

I was begging that question Saturday morning with this year's black belt testing team during the second quarter mile sprint, after side crunches and burpees and alligator breathing, with 2 more full circuits to go.

Black fuzziness around the borders of my vision produced a mental chorus of, "WHY am I here and how can I be so out of shape already?!?  And more importantly: will anyone notice if I slink off to relax at Starbucks like a sane person?"

During a recent karate class when I couldn't remember my left from my right or Sanshin stance from a hole in the wall and my sore hip wouldn't let me kick with anything more than an embarrassing sigh of a thwack, while wearing a black belt that winked and mocked me from my waist my brain sang,  "Why do I suck? And why do I keep coming back to suck publicly?"

Why do I do what I do?  I'm not on this year's black belt team.  I'm pretty sure I could come up with an excuse to miss Goju Shorei class.  I could work at Starbucks.  I wonder what the employee discount is?

I have to give my Etch-a-Sketch brain a shake.  I have to re-find my whys.
And I always come back to the same why's.
And they don't keep track of taps or require success.

But they do require kindness.  I would never talk to any student the way I talk to myself when I lose track of my whys.  "I suck," is a simple litany, an easy ditty to match to an earworm bit of melody.   A fluff of lies with which to fill the brain.  But it's just misdirection because it doesn't matter if I do suck.

I do what I do because of my whys and they don't include or even require success.

That closed loop auto-play?  I can control it.  If I can finish the 4th lap of a circuit devised by an Evil Madman, oops, I meant a wise and caring Sensei; then I can practice mental kindness and write new earworm lyrics.

And developing that lyrical strength is one of my whys.


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