Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eagerness, The Next Level

After our karate belt tests, Albert Sensei who runs our dojo always has everyone sit down for a pep talk. You never hear the kids moan or groan about it either because he's such a dynamic and engaging speaker and what he has to say is always meaningful in a personal way. Yesterday he was talking about levels of commitment - Obedience, Willingness, and then Eagerness. He stressed that he wants all of us at the dojo to not just be willing to practice karate, or participate in anything in life (even taking out the garbage) but instead be eager to do it.

It got me thinking about my mindset and how it affects my training. For years, I was such a reluctant runner. I only ran because I had to in order to compete in triathlons. I was somewhere between obedient and willing to do it, but I was never ever eager. I would even tell people that I only ran because they had no Swim/Bike duathlons. Then a couple of years ago I decided I really wanted to become a better runner. I asked good runners and coaches about their favorite drills, I checked out books like Chi Running, and I really put some effort into my runs. I did hills, I did strides, I did form drills. And you know what? I not only became a better runner, but I really began to like running. I became, in fact, eager to go for a run. Now that I'm suffering through the rehabilitation of my sprained ankle, I've even found that I've missed running.

There are so many areas of life that one can work on the eagerness factor. Last night, my husband and I cooked a meal together. To say I'm a reluctant chef would not be overstating the case at all. I actually love to cook and am really pretty good at it (my grandfather even owned his own restaurant, so I must have some cooking genes in there somewhere), but I hate deciding what to make and I hate the mess it makes in the kitchen (that's my engineering brain talking there). But we've decided that, in honor of our upcoming trip to Italy, Saturday nights will be "Italian Night" in our house this year. I checked out the Everyday Italian cookbook from the library, and last night Wayne tackled making a grilled seafood salad (with squid and scallops) and I made a mushroom risotto that was quite heavenly. And we really enjoyed ourselves, you could even say I was eager to get cooking! We all went to the store together and picked up fresh ingredients, stuck an Italian language learning CD in the player and repeated "buona serra" to each other as we cooked.

This week, my aim will be carrying this eagerness forward into all areas of my life. There's no real point in doing anything grudgingly, when you can actually enjoy it (even running, or cleaning up after our Italian feast.


TriGirl 40 said...

Great picture!

When you go to DC, I think you need to stop in Richmond to cook for me.

I will gladly clean up.

janasmama said...

MMMMmmm. Look at that bread on the table....