No Pain, No Gain

Number one rule at Ripple Effect Martial Arts is: Have Fun. (It’s true. Mr. Robinson said so.)

But Mr. Robinson makes you do slow kicks. Lots. And slow kicks aren’t fun. What gives? Are the instructors just evil?

No. (Well, maybe…) But in any case it’s their job to push us past self-perceived limits.

Lift those legs up. Chamber. Kick it out. And…..count down from 1,000.

When I workout at home I have most of the implements of the gym/karate school. Jump rope. Kicking pads. Wavemaster punching bag. Enough floor space for sit ups, pushups, sprints, combinations, sliding kicks. But there’s a level of accountability that I can’t summon compared with being in class. I take breaks. I quit early. At the end of a given home workout, I’m nowhere near as worn out. And nowhere near as sore the next day.

That’s the beauty of class. Even when it’s tough to get there, you’re always, always glad you came.

Getting tired, sore, exhausted doesn’t feel fun in the moment, but there’s an invigoration to it after the fact. You just did more consecutive kicks than ever before, held a horse stance longer, stretched that series of slow-motion hook-side-round kicks past the burn out point. Y’ouch. But that’s part of what the fun of karate is all about. Accomplishment. Painful, strength-building accomplishment.

It’s the old adage on the poster from the gym locker in the ‘80s: No Pain, No Gain.

Thanks for the pain, Mr. Robinson.

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