How to be Patient
How to be Patient (or Hurry Up and Wait)
by: Master David Blevins
Our typical understanding of the word “patience” is to sit idly and try not to fall asleep. Like waiting for the bus. We just sit there, on the bench, doing nothing and letting our minds roam unfettered. The bus isn’t here yet so I will think about what I am having for dinner. The bus is still not here…I wonder whose dog that is across the street? Etc. Since our youth we have (for the most part) understood patience to be an inactive and passive waste of time. A dull and gray zone that offers no real benefit to our lives but has to be suffered through. We are supposed to be patient. All the good kids are patient. As patient as Job…wait…didn’t he suffer through a lot?
In training we need another kind of patience. The kind of patience that is very thoughtful and insightful. A patience that is active and vigorously collects information for later action. We need a patience that perseveres through hardship on the way to a greater benefit or understanding. We are running sprints trying to get faster and we are so very tired…yet we run some more at top speed. We want to stop but we just need to…be patient. We have been working on improving our maximum bench press weight for 3 whole weeks and nothing has changed. Maybe we need to increase our intensity or vary our workouts or…be patient.
This kind of patience is a grueling and bloody mental battle. But the payoff is huge. The reality is that with proper stimulus (training methods) our bodies WILL change. However, the change is on the cellular level and it takes time for all those itty bitty changes to make a noticeably visible difference. Hold on, if we let up, those changes will go away as our bodies revert to their earlier state. So, we continue on. We work harder and smarter. We change little bits of technique. We change the duration of our workout. We ask for advice and other tricks to help our progress. It is a continued research project in pursuit of our goal. We are relentless…and patient. And because of our patient and unfailing efforts – we see the change we are hoping for.
But here’s the kicker. Once that happens we now have the recipe for success. We can do it again. Through our battle to get down to 33 seconds in Kuk Mu O-dan (a Tae Kwon Do exercise) we have learned that if we push harder – longer, we won’t die. We have learned that by cutting carbs and sugars from our lifestyle – we like our new waistline enough to continue those dietary choices. We have learned that whatever we put our mind to accomplishing is truly possible. That gives us confidence. We know that the power resides in us and there is a template to follow from our previous success. Hint: It never gets easy but the next challenges are easier because we have been through the bloody battle before. We know how to defeat the negativity that will pop up because, even though we can’t see it yet, our goal rests just around the corner. And we will get there…if we are patient.