Saturday, February 27, 2010

When things Break

Some times no matter how prepared we are things break!

A small barn on my property was damaged on Thursday by the Snow Hurricane we experienced in New Hampshire.

Storms happen and we move on, but when a friend pitches in when the power's out and shares a generator to bring light into the dark, we have a chance to learn what is important.

The arts which are my passion continue, but it the friends we have which are far more important.

If I've learned any one lesson, it is not the skill or knowledge of a person which is most important, it's how they live their life.

Always pick the best people and you cannot fail, and then work to live up to that yourself.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Old Friends

Wow the past month has been a blast with visits with old friends

Several weeks ago Ron Martin (Pennsylvania) and Rich Bernard (Londonderry NH) spent an afternoon at the coffee shop with me talking over old stories from the day. Especially the great diversity of Karate Tournaments from 30 years ago.

Ron Martin and Richie Bernard

Then today I had lunch with Garry Gerossie from Concord NH. Garry sought my program out around 1994 and made sure I met his instructor Sherman Harrill from Carson Iowa. That became a life changing experience for me.

Victor Smith and Garry Gerossie

The stories I could tell can go on for hours, but back once upon a time they weren't stories but live experience, the best kind.

Embrace your friends they last for eternity.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Frost Heaves

When you're new to New England your first February on a bright sunny day with lots of old snow sitting in the forests at the side of the road, the country road you're cruising down suddenly has a new sign stating "Frost Heaves".

You don't know what that means and keep cruising then you find yourself launched up to almost hit your head on your inside roof. Next the car drops your springs are being stressed, your wheels cracking and if you keep going the road becomes a real roller coaster.

Frost heaves occur because the melting snow saturates the ground, and then freezes thrusting the frozen ground upward. The results are a washboard effect on the roads. By custom the local towns know which roads are more likely to be broken and post the signs as warnings.

To survive the frost heave you have to drive slower, look closer, work for a more even controlled driving experience.

In our lives as a martial artist 'Frost Heaves' are also a guaranteed experience. Whether from illness, work responsibilities, family needs, or any other issue, these events cause our training to become very bumpy, and the bouncing around from each event can cause us to loose our footing.

We need to take a lesson from our driving experience. When frost heaves are upon us we should slow down, observe what's happening closely, and try to find an even road through the travail.

Training for life is not always an even pace. Training goes up, it falls down, turns sideways, goes backwards, and continues to change constantly . You can't deal with those bumps by blasting forward full speed.

You must work to provide. Your family is more important than anything. Illnesses are always a drag but in each case if you slow down, but not stop, your training you can level your ride and wait for smoother roads to then pick up the speed.

We can't control the frost heaves in our lives, but we can work to find a level slower path through them.