When is it time to throw in the towel and just walk away? How much is enough? Who wants what I have to offer anyway?
Many years ago my first instructor, Steve McKnight told me that “when you start to dread going to class, that is the indicator.” He said “when that happens, when you start to feel like that don’t walk, run out the door and quit. You owe it to your students to give them 100%.”
While I have not fallen to the level of dread going in, the shear joy of looking forward to going, to reaching that high feeling of accomplishment when a student’s face opens up with a new “understanding” is not happening as it used to. And while the joy of renewing old friendships at training camp has not diminished the camps themselves no longer excite me. I know there is a likelihood that it could be my inability to train the way I used to, (the aches, pains and arthritis of a 70 year old man) I suspect it may be more of a mental thing than physical. Anyway, I no longer look forward to it.
So, when is enough, enough? The difficulty is in the small details. While I thought I was more advanced than this, the small quirks of human nature have begun to irritate me. I have always felt that human beings should be more advanced than they are. People do not consider other people when they decide to do or say some things and my patience has not grown as it should. So I get irritated.
I’ve always taught that one of the best paths for personal growth is through interactions with others. Richard Bach said in his book entitled ‘Illusions:’ “We teach best what we most need to learn.” However, it may be time to move in another direction.
The Solution? Maybe to drop out of martial arts completely the way Jim Lahue did. After all, my allegiance ultimately is to myself not any one person or organization. Considering how I dropped the martial arts organization which I co-founded and walked away from the martial arts school which I founded in the sixties, it would not be too hard to do.
I have not made up my mind just yet. But it won’t be long.