For the past couple of weeks, Mrs. Middleton and I have been on a body-only workout program, and the words that keep appearing are to be ‘mentally strong’ in order to be physically strong.
We have been discussing what our mission is, and mentally strong kept coming to the forefront. AKKA has a statement that “when I get my Black Belt, I can do anything.” What does this statement really mean? It means that for any endeavor that is deemed worthwhile, mental focus and determination are key.
I have run into many people who ‘used to’ do this or ‘used to’ do that, and never actually finished any of what they set out to do. What was the key ingredient missing? Mental toughness! We have discovered that when it gets hard, there tend to be two options: stop or keep going. Guess which one most people choose?
Which is why Kenpo is so important, not only for personal safety, but also to cultivate mental toughness. This week, we have been asking our students to do just that. Work on the mental aspect of their game. Everyone has been put to the task of working all out for 5 minutes. While the time itself seems like a trivial amount, the energy output is extreme. We are focusing on push-ups, sit-ups, mountain climbers, squat thrusts, and monkey squats, each a minute duration. Not only is everyone encouraged to push themselves for that time, but to keep ‘control’ over how well they perform each exercise. I am proud to say there are several who even beat our numbers in each category.
It is an effort not only to put in front of you areas that could use improvement, but also to build an indomitable spirit.
Our June 2011 Back Belt test is upon us, and for AKKA Northland, we are proud to have 11 graduating, including our older daughter.
It is said each Black Belt represents 100 people who tried and gave up. The numbers are true, and that statement is sad in one respect, and a testament to the mental discipline these people have, to push themselves to train, to accomplish, to achieve. Because when they get their Black Belts, they can do anything.
What are your goals, and what were your goals? Do they still match? If not, it is time for a mental check. If they match, congratulations — you are one of the fortunate few. Our hope is to build on being mentally tough. As Batman once said, a tired body is easy to overcome, a tired spirit is not.
Go get ’em, and a huge congratulations to everyone who keeps their head in the game and achieves!