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Is excellence the only goal?

I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them. –Kurt Vonnegut My son spent a lot of time in speech therapy as a young child for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). You wouldn’t know it now,…

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Martial Arts martialARTS

Growth comes at the point of resistance (Josh Waitzkin)

Skills come from struggle.” Steve Magniss and Brad Stulberg,  In their book Peak Performance, Magniss and Stulberg explain “just-manageable challenges” as ways to push limits and expand a comfort zone, and constantly to improve. “Just-manageable challenges manifest when you take on something that makes you feel a little out of control but not quite anxious or overly aroused. What you’re after is the sweet spot, when the challenge at hand…

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Martial Arts martialARTS Uncategorized

Beginnings and hurdles

The biggest hurdle is often the first on the course, whether it’s waking and rolling out a yoga mat or lacing up running shoes, or walking through the door to something new. With tae kwon do, I’d summoned the courage necessary to walk through the door into my first class, feeling pretty good about it, and found perhaps that wasn’t the highest hurdle. I had 300 more to go. Every…

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Martial Arts martialARTS

new blog series: the tapestry of martial arts

Writers are often told, correct or not, to write what they know, write what they love. As spring approaches, I’m going to write a series of blogs that both reflect something I’ve been learning a lot about over the last decade, and also ties in to my fiction writing. (My cozy mystery is coming along at almost 60,000 words so far!) What’s the topic? Martial arts. Tai chi. Qi gong.…

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Martial Arts

the yin and yang of competition

Competition is tricky. A balancing act. Being 100% non-competing or always competing can be difficult. For me, competition lures me in. In the realm of Ayurveda, I’m a pitta (with some kapha) and once I get into competition mode it can get…fiery. As I face my third taekwondo tournament, the first two not having gone so well, with last place my average finish (sigh) I’m not sure how I want…

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Martial Arts Uncategorized

What do we say about coincidences, Sherlock?

Mycroft Holmes: What do we say about coincidences? Sherlock Holmes: The universe is rarely so lazy.   I suspect that my son and I learning Taekwondo is no coincidence– that it is the universe’s way of helping us with all the fights and struggles. It’s way of strengthening us for current and future battles.  I never had grandiose plans for both of us to train in Taekwondo, some sort of…

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Martial Arts

Getting jiggly with it

Only a Mr. Ninja would tell me to look at myself in the mirror as I do jumping jacks to see if I’m symmetrical.  I mean, I get it the theory.  Mr. Ninja wants both my legs the same strength and flexibility, and if that is true then my jumping jacks should be symmetrical.  And I am clearly not doing that–after about 150 jumping jacks, my legs stop moving so…

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Martial Arts

martial arts–at my age?

   I needed something different.  We’d just moved from Florida to Colorado and I was invigorated by the dry mountain air.  Around here yoga seems to be something you do to complement your climbing/biking/running, and I didn’t find my usual gang of yoga peoples to have class with.  Years in the humid, flat swamps had left me sluggish, hesitant to exercise, especially if it meant leaving the A/C).  Now living…

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