Another New Year’s Resolution
“Humans don’t rise to the occasion.” – Archilochus
“Instead, we fall to our level of training and experience.” Archilochus, a Greek soldier–poet, wasn’t thinking about his New Year’s resolution when he said this 2800 years ago. But in my experience as a human being, military/police/martial art instructor, and someone who has never intentionally lowered the bar in training or life says he could have been wrong if we could only overcome our excuses.
I teach Warrior Strategies today, or should I say my version of them, in Wolfes Combatives and I’m pretty sure there is a large number of my current students and clients making their own New Year’s resolutions along with a whole bunch of trainees I have not seen in months or years. Of course the motivation for the reflection could be recent world events or something as simple as looking at oneself in the mirror and wondering…. what happened? Many will reflect back on how good they felt when they trained and wonder why they stopped and others just wish they were better prepared because of the world around us. They will of course remember their excuses and perhaps my words ‘excuses are reason for failure’. They will of course remember how hard it was to get started training with me during those ‘first 30 days of necessary roughness’. Then they wonder why they stopped going if it made them feel and look good. Then they will remember their excuses; work, dollars and cents, home renovations, family or that new special someone in their life. Good reasons at the time that took them in another direction and help create that person now looking back at them in the mirror.
So what holds them back and prompts this Year’s resolution….. fear? My guess is it’s more likely belt or dress size! They both prompt that fear of rising to the occasion. I’m sure even Archilochus realized how hard it was to get one’s butt on the training floor week after week. But Archilochus like us, who rise to the occasion, always find it hard to understand the excuses and the need for New Year’s Resolutions. I wonder how many resolutions have been made in those 2800 years since Archilochus voiced those words. I wonder how many have actually been followed through on.
As for myself I have always considered myself a ‘work in progress’ and have never been much on making resolutions after all that I learned from my first hangover and how well that resolution worked! But I like to think I was lucky because I was mentored to think and act differently. Some good men instilled in me the idea of physical and mental toughness – that rising to the occasion Archilochus spoke off – that how to win battles, that how to lead your life rather than follow creed vs. resolutions each New Year.
I guess students expect to see from me that self image of a warrior they wish to become. You know that part in your New Year’s Resolution that seeks to find warrior qualities like a fit mind and body; someone who is tough and unperturbed and able to shrug off pain, difficult environments and fear and get on with being a warrior. Then suddenly it’s January 1st 2013 and no magic powers and once the alcohol wears off just the same old you; perhaps a husband and father and you expect to make your resolution come true. It just doesn’t work that way unless you rise to the occasion.
And that is where I come in. I offer a simple no nonsense studio to come and train in. Nothing fancy but never the less a place for rebuilding yourselves, a place where you can be creative rather than destructive. A place where you can rise to the occasion and perhaps prove Archilochus wrong! Excuses are reasons for failure so perhaps that self exploration should be your resolution! It’s a valuable test, because examining the excuses will help smash through the mental blocks and better prepare you for the tests coming your way in 2013.
We’ll see you on the mats January 2013 Happy New