So You Think You’re a Warrior ?

Lying on the floor in a pool of my own sweat, forcing myself to remember to breathe through my nose and not pant like a dog from the heat, my thoughts (which were supposed to be still in Savasana) ran to how much I was struggling in this Bikram class. I was reminded how I considered myself to be tough, but now I was pausing to question that belief. I decided then that I WAS in fact tough as I didn’t quit and continued to push on despite how much I actually wanted to just lie there and use my back inury as an excuse to just roll over on my back and rest. I also pondered then how I would actually rather be repeatedly hit and kicked than lie there in my own thoughts and pain !  It’s funny , as whilst training in the No Limits Fitness strength and conditioning class that I run at my dojo on a Sat morning…..I also had that thought. That I would rather be bashed than force myself to run through this pain my back is giving me ……and well…the running too. I’ve written an article before ” I don’t like running” and well…..nothing’s changed.

So……why do it ? Why do these things I don’t like ?  Well I think that it is a normal human response to turn away from pain and avoid discomfort, however sometimes as people we see the value in not turning away and avoiding that which we don’t like as there is something more to be gained at the end. Ie : The dividends outweigh the investment. But why is some pain more easily endured than others ? I believe that like everything – It’s what we get used to. It’s that which we re exposed to most often and train to do that we of course are more able to tolerate. I doubt that many would question this belief of mine as this theory is practised in every gym, school, martial arts dojo, sports club, army etc every day.

That point however is not what I was wondering about. Going back to the part where I thought I was tough, I was thinking about how at times I had considered myself and indeed been called a warrior after competing in full contact tournaments etc. Then I started to think about how it’s easy to be tough in an environment where everything is familiar , and you feel comfortable and know what’s going on , and what’s ahead of you. Is that a true warrior though? Shifting my thoughts then to Soldiers dropped into unfamiliar territory, or Viking’s sailing into battle without knowing their enemy and their plans… come through that would indeed be a feat of a warrior. They would need to adapt to their surroundings quickly. They would need to be able to assess situations, make changes and be adaptable. They would need to operate under stress and surprise without really having time to adjust themselves at their preferred pace.  And they would fight for their own and perhaps others lives and couldn’t stop when they got tired or injured.

I am not trying to say that unless you become a soldier or a Viking that you cannot be a warrior….but I do see even more clearly now though the need to constantly challenge yourself by pushing  your boundaries and going out of your comfort zone. Lately I have been attending other classes in an effort to go beyond my own limitations and it’s been an eye opener. I’m both hating feeling less than great at what I do – and loving it at the same time. But either way…….I know that by stretching (pun intended) myself that I will grow as a person, a martial artist and a fitness trainer.

Who know’s one day maybe I will have the right to call myself a warrior !