Training in Ukraine involved quite a bit of travel. For me, it involved two plane rides, the Ukrainian metro system, rental buses, and the amazing/terrifying driving of my good friend Sensei Anton. Still, for me coming from the United States, the travel time was shorter than some of our incredibly dedicated Ukrainian students. Some students and their instructors took 9 to 12 hour train rides in order to participate in the training sessions!
Now, adults are perfectly capable of sitting on the train for that amount of time. Teens can do it too…but one boy, on the 12 hour train ride, couldn’t have been 10 years old. When I asked the boy (through one of our helpful translators) why he took such a long trip, his response was a simple, “That’s what you do”.
THAT thinking, from that young boy personifies the Ukrainian way of training. You do what you’ve got to do because you know the training is worth it. You know the community around you is worth it. You know that the sweat and the pain…it’s all worth it and so you do what you have to in order to attend and train.
Dedication requires sacrifice. Saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to others. Dedication requires you to put off what feels good now for what IS good long-term. From my perspective, a lot of the sadness and emptiness that we see around us stems from people having no real cause to which they’re dedicated. It’s hard work and, like I said, requires sacrifice…but dedication and sacrifice build community and THAT is why the Phoenix Karate-do Association is so strong. It is full of likeminded people who are dedicated to hard training, personal improvement, and perfection of character. It is a community built around dedication to a Way that isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
What are you dedicated to? More importantly...is it worth the sacrifice?
Enjoy the weekend. I’ll post again on Monday.