So I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to mention one of my other interests that I don't cover on this blog but is the one that pushes everything else I do in my life: karate. I started as a kid, age 8, wanting to keep up with my brother and be a ninja turtle, but it's more of a lifestyle for me now.
I love the physical aspect of it. The discipline. Pushing my body (and other people's!) to its limits, seeing what its capabilities and limitations are. The adrenaline rush. Making sure I maintain a good diet and get plenty of sleep, so I can tend to any injuries nice and early to prevent re-injury. It's about pushing myself to the edge but also listening and respecting my body as well.
Then there's the mental side to karate. It's the solid training in these things alongside the physical training that makes the martial arts different to any other fighting arts. In the way that science is a method for furthering the objective understanding about the world around us, karate is a method by which to understand yourself and your relationship with everything around you. My karate doesn't stop when I leave the dojo: it's in everything I do, but my "opponents" change. For example, to be successful in growing vegetables, you have to watch your vegetables throughout the seasons, see what they like and what they don't, and you can start to exploit that so that they're productive all of the time. The same "dance" or rhythm that exists in a fight with another person is right there in everyday things and the same way of thinking can be applied to both. But there's also a fundamental respect and humility that is cultivated as well.
One of my favourite places: The entrance to Kyoshi Mike Clarke's dojo in Launceston, Tasmania.
There are other ways, and possibly better or easier ways to become a fighter and to get fit and to learn about yourself and others but it's all about what works for you and karate is the one that speaks to me most, makes the most sense to me. I often think that if everyone chose to study a martial art then the world would be a calmer and happier place.
Thanks to Angela for hosting This is... It seems like everyone is onto it and it looks like so much fun!