Friday, June 18, 2010

Practice. A continuing theme.

I have been very busy. Like everyone else, my time runs short, and of course the things that fall by the wayside are paddling, and my dojo. At my dojo I have classes on Monday and Wednesday night. I have had some changes at my job, and while they used to protect Monday and Wednesdays so I could go to the dojo, that situation has changed, and I go intermittently at best. Lately once a week, but for a few weeks, I missed class altogether.

Yesterday I happened to be off all day, and while I had planned to paddle, a car repair got in the way. But I was able to go to the dojo. In fact, I got to class thirty minutes early, only my sensei was there, and I did a nice stretch, and then did my kata, as the classes I have been to there has been no kata instruction.

I felt rusty. It is amazing that you don't feel 'rust' forming when you don't do something, but I felt the accumulation of several weeks of rust in my movements. Things that normally flowed, didn't. I couldn't stand on one leg and throw multiple kicks the way I can when I am practicing diligently.

I also have been to busy to regularly paddle. I did a few rolls the last time I paddled and really needed to think about keeping my head down which is not normally the case. Normally, it just flows. Like kicking twice while balancing on one leg.

While it is important for our psyche to be active doing the things we do, it is also important for our skills to keep doing the things we do. Practice, must be more than practice, it must be ritual. It is good for our minds, it is good for our bodies. It is good for our skills.

I like this quote about practicing meditation.

Even the most seasoned meditator continues to practice seated meditation, because it tunes and sharpens the basic mental skills he needs for his particular game. We must never forget, however, that seated meditation itself is not the game. It's the practice. The game in which those basic skills are to be applied is the rest of one's experiential existence.

I read that as 'don't practice for practice sake' Practice to apply it. Practice AND apply it.

I am taking the next week off to travel for my birthday. Hiking and camping, not paddling. But I will have some little posts to fill the week. While I am gone, paddle. If nothing else, just get in a boat, and enjoy it. May be even, practice.

1 comment:

  1. Hi PO

    Read that quote with interest - I'm a music teacher, and say often to my pupils that they must endeavour to join ensembles and play with other musicians, in order to get the most out of their music-making. If they just practice, they get very good - at practicing!

    Only getting out once a week at the moment - about 20mins drive from a tidal river - but leave it any longer and it takes me twice as long to get 'into the groove' when I get out on the water.

    My daughter enjoys paddling too, and when we wen out on Friday evening just gone it was the first time for her for 3 weeks. She commented quite independently 'I'm out of practice and rusty'! - just your point!!

    Have a good few days off, will keep watching the blog though!!