As you may or may not know, my son, Asa, does martial arts. He started roughly 1 year ago and he’s been working hard to earn his last stripe on his white belt before he can test for his yellow belt.
His Sensei, Tom, does a nice job of complimenting and motivating his students, but is diligent in reminding them to master the little things, such as eye contact, being present the entire class, and mastering the fundamentals.
As I watched Asa this last Saturday, I thought about my personal fitness journey, going back to my early CrossFit days in 2008. I imagined myself a white belt all over again–eager to learn, listen to my coach’s feedback, and my obsession with heavy deadlifts without back pain. Sure, those were different times, but personal development is something that never gets old to me.
The idea of starting all over again got me excited, and since Saturday, I’ve decided to practice double-unders as my new “thing.” Although I can do double-unders decently, it’s certainly something I could do more efficiently. Additionally, it’s a nice distraction and reasonable goal that will not take up too much time.
You see, I’ve always felt that finding your fitness zen or virtuosity doesn’t come from being an elite CrossFitter, or in having 6% body fat; instead, I see it as being humble, coachable, eager to learn, and knowing that when it comes to OUR health and fitness journey, we’re constantly changing and evolving. Virtuosity simply means to master the common skills, uncommonly well or to always sharpen your ax.
So, the next time that you come to the gym, try having a “White Belt” mentality. Come in expecting to learn, ask for feedback from your peers and coaches, and challenge yourself to learn new– or even old– things no matter how many years you’ve been a member. Who knows, it may rekindle your love for fitness, or it may serve as a nice distraction from life.
Now, please Lord, let Asa get his yellow belt soon so we can stop hearing about it at home!!!