Overcoming (or the Broken Toe Treatise)

Rounding the corner, encouraging the children to run faster, jump higher and keop louder, the edge of my bare foot slammed into a body shield.

I choked back the blast invoking hell and damnation.

I kept going.  One thing and then another thing and then the next thing kept me fully occupied with no time to think about aches and pains.  But the next day (Sunday), when I went to put on my shoes, I had to take them off.  Little toe swollen all out of proportion with attractive purple blue striping, I decided that the really wide soft boots would work better.

And I thought to myself, “Come on! I have enough, really, already to deal with.  Don’t particularly need any extra outside challenges.  Couldn’t I have a day or maybe two where nothing goes awry. Please, all things in the universe, test someone else.”

But that’s not the way life works.  Not for any of us. The path to black belt and beyond in any martial art mirrors life in all aspects.  We take two steps forward and are hurled back.  What matters is how we keep going.  We get up, get dressed, and move, despite what the powers that be may throw at us today.

You have to laugh.  Smile at the absurdities. Wonder at the amazing connections and possibilities.

At the tail end of a testing day, my Sabonim, tired, injured and taped up in a myriad of places, was directed to spar against two men, half his age.  He didn’t wilt or exasperate or back down.  He looked at them both and motioned for them to “Bring it!”  Those of us watching were compelled to cheer before the match had even begun.

That’s the attitude I would like to embrace in my every day.

It’s not easy.  I must constantly remind myself that I have it in me to overcome any obstacle tossed my direction.  I can allow myself to be constantly angry, sad and defeated.  Or, I can choose to find the fun, see the positive and celebrate the good.

On Monday morning, when I went to start up my car…the battery was dead.

You have to laugh!


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