I enjoy moving my body, most of the time. It comes from years and years of practice. I no longer worry about form or weight. My mind is free to enjoy the workout and think about how efficiently I can complete a workout. My body needs no instruction, and I love the freedom and mental clarity a tough workout brings me.
That is of course, how I feel in a gym/ at the Unit. Last week, however, I decided to start working on a new martial art. I’ve started Kalari Payattu. For those of you who haven’t heard of it.. this is what a seasoned practitioner makes it look like:
I, however, have only just started, and I’m fairly crap at it. And no, I’m not being modest. For the first time in a long time, I truly understand (in the present tense) why people dread workouts in the beginning. Its hard to feel good about a workout when EVERYTHING you do needs correction or modification and you cannot seem to do anything right. Its hard to go back to class, when you know that what awaits you, is a whole lot of disapproval and patient-but-constant correction.
And yet, through it all, I feel slightly happy.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through years and years and years of trying every new workout/exercise that’s been around, it is this:
You are not going to be crap at anything you consistently practice, forever.
Thats not the way your body is designed. Your body simply doesn’t get the limitations your mind puts on it. It will adapt to survive. If you consistently tell it that it needs to jump, kick and fly around to survive, then one day, it will help you do just that.
And yes, exercise feels awesome once you get technique and you can take your mind off it. But it takes time and patience to get there.
So I’m going back, and I will keep going till I finally get it. It might take months or maybe even years. But I am getting older anyway. I might as well learn something new while I’m at it.
And when I finally get it (because I will), how cool is it going to be, to own a body that can do this:
Now that is worth working for.