Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Training While Watching

Well, there's about a month left to go before the baby arrives, and training up until now has been really interesting. The class has gotten used to seeing my belly grow, and I've been able to keep teaching and working out (although modified). I've had to reduce the time spent on my feet (up to two hours) which means that my time has been limited with additional classes.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an advanced workout even though I wasn't able to physically participate in the techniques. I was allowed to watch. This in itself is a great honor and a great learning opportunity.

I've had my fair share of injuries which have allowed me to figure out how to do techniques with more precision and finesse and less strength. But not being able to do anything all -- except sit and watch, is a new experience for me - albeit a difficult one.

When you're physically active, it's difficult to not physically be in a position to perform techniques. However, being allowed to watch instead of participate affords you an opportunity to listen to the instruction and then visually match the instruction with the techniques being performed in front of you. It also allows you to visualize how you, yourself would perform the technique(s).

Visualization as a lesson in the dojo, is one that my instructor only gave once, maybe twice during the time I've been a student of his. The few times that he did talk about it -- it made a profound impact on me. He asked us to close our eyes and visualize a technique in our minds and how we would like to perform it. We had to visualize it several times. Then he had us open our eyes, and allowed one opportunity to perform the technique. It was shocking to see how much my technique improved by this seemingly simple mental exercise.  

Although it worked like magic, I must admit, that I didn't practice the technique regularly, opting instead to focus on physical repetition -- until now -- when performing the physical techniques is less of an option for me.

It made me realize that lessons you learn find you when you need them the most. Keeping an open mind and constantly learning allows you to manage any challenge with grace.