New Year: a Good Time to Work Towards Goals
So what goals can we set ourselves for 2004? As Martial Artists, whether young or mature, beginners or Black Belts, we have our ongoing quest in the pursuit of excellence. We may realize that our progress will be hard at times, as it is measured out in the small steps we take with every training session. We also know that to benefit from training we have to “be there”, not just physically in the Dojo, but also mentally and emotionally primed to give our best effort at every practice. That may not always be an easy task, but the development of new levels of skill that require our complete involvement will rarely be easy.
In an article entitled “Life is full of things we don’t want to do” author Karen Eden states that we often do things that are difficult or unpleasant because we have made a commitment. As adults we know that we take our commitments seriously. As parents and teachers of our children it is important to encourage youngsters to pursue their commitments with as serious an attitude as possible. Eden believes that we live in a society that encourages parents to let their children do only what they want to do; hence, …”that thing that sets in...that thing that makes it go from just training to a way of life is not instantaneous.” She goes on to say that “the martial arts are different. It is a commitment on the part of the parents and the student and it takes time to experience. Sometimes you have got to make the kids go to karate class. They are learning skills that will take them through the rest of their lives, even if you don’t think they are learning anything. They’re also discovering that there are great accomplishments waiting to happen when you make even the slightest of efforts.” Part of what will help young students to maintain their commitment to training is regularity. Having a set schedule of appropriate classes to attend reinforces a sense of consistency, and makes progress both more likely and more obvious both to the student and the parents.
A parent from another school in Boca Raton called our karate center recently to request information on a local tournament. During the conversation she mentioned some of the reasons that she believed that having her children involved in martial arts was so important. She felt that a karate school can be like a second family, a safe haven where guidance and discipline are present. Her daughter is an excellent young Martial Arts Champion who has obviously benefited from her commitment, and that of her parents and instructors.
Restructuring your Ideas*
Identifying your fears and negative beliefs
“Some of the worst obstacles in exercise are mental, your fears and beliefs, and they can be identified, analyzed and changed.”
Typical mental obstacles include:
fears about not having good enough skills. (“I don’t know how to do this”)
unrealistic performance standards
lack of trust in your goals. (“I should have stayed home instead of coming to class.”)
unreasonable fears, imaginary fears
How to Turn Them Around:
learn to hear your “self-talk”, formed with ideas floating around in your head when you exercise (“I’ve never had good coordination.”, etc.)
while exercising listen for negative self-talk, ideas based on fears not facts
without stopping your exercise, replace the mental hang-up you have just detected with a positive idea or real fact (“This workout will be fine. Just relax and enjoy it”)
feel what it is like to exercise when you are using a positive idea for fuel
remember that feeling
Dehydration and Children
“Because parents are not in the habit of adequately hydrating themselves, they pass their poor health habits on to their offspring. Children need to drink more pure water.” says Herb Joiner-Bey, N.D. “Sub-clinical dehydration is a major, undiagnosed health issue throughout the U.S. population” Bey states. “Since many people do not like the taste of chlorinated city water they use soft drinks, juices, coffee as water sources; however, they are inadequate to meet the optimal hydration needs of the body.” Nothing hydrates the body better than pure water whose molecules move quickly from the intestines to the blood to the cells unimpeded.
The basic number of fluid ounces of pure water to be consumed daily is equal to half the number of pounds the body weighs. Increase the intake according to increased physical activity and atmospheric temperature. This amount should be distributed throughout the day to ensure continuous hydration. Thirst is unreliable as a guide.
Children who are physically active, especially those involved in intense sports, should hydrate beyond the recommendations since athletes typically perspire more than non-athletes. In addition to potential health risks, athletic performance is impaired by inadequate hydration causing 25% loss in stamina and performance in adults. Pure water helps to flush out lactic acid and other metabolites that prolong recovery and also improves the manufacture of repair proteins which correct the micro-trauma that occurs in muscle and other tissues during strenuous exercise.
Be sure your active child is thoroughly hydrated with pure water before, during and after an event. The more the child perspires, the more water intake is needed.
“We live in a period of great crisis, a period of troubling world developments. It is not possible to find peace in the soul
without security and harmony between peoples.”