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Home > Training > Why I Practice
by Eve Peters-Campbell <Send E-mail to Author> - 15. November, 2000

Yesterday in class, Larry Sensei paused everyone, sat down, and asked us why we practiced. Nobody really answered, and he said that was okay but that we ought to at least think about it now and then. Not so much necessarily figuring out the answer, but asking the question was important. I didn't have a nice quick answer ready at the time but I was thinking about it today at work and between calls came up with my answer for myself, thought I'd share it here. (t'was one of my rare journal entrys not just a thought, so fairly lengthy. Just a warning)

I practice because I love it.

Because every time I step onto the mat my heart sings, my energy doubles (at least), my smile widens, and I have fun. I practice for the single perfect breakfall I did while horseplaying after class though I've never managed even a halfway successful pre meditated one. For the slow motion forward roll I've never duplicated but that kept me working on rolls after my first month of misery. And the feeling of success and power when someone twice my size suddenly drops and can not get up again, because I got the pin just right. For the way the pre-class depression gives way to the ... not euphoria -- euphoria is too passive -- the tingling energy of tension released and troubles forgotten, the rush of strength, the invigorating ache of muscles stretched and used, throught the class and lingering afterwards. I practice for the way the floor is coming way too fast -- and the way it doesn't hurt when I hit it. For every time I take a blind fall towards a wall and pull up just before hitting it even though I don't see how close it is. I just know it's there.

I practice for the sudden brief instant of realizing that time it was right.

And the laughter as I think ... err... no. Let's try that again. I practice to see a kohai's eyes light up as something just clicks into place -- and to see a sempai's grin as I feel everything click. For all the succeses and all the mistakes and for the fact that those mistakes never feel like failures.

I practice because I've seen the breathaking beauty of sempai as they do even the simplest techniques, and because someday I'd like to take someone's breath away. Especially my own.

I practice because there's no judgement, no hurry, and no complaints. I practice to surprise myself as I realize what I can do. I practice for the growing awareness of what my body is doing and why and how to change it.

Basically, I practice because it makes me happy. Because even the worst moments of practicing are better than most good moments when not.

I practice because I love it.

Nothing deep and soul-changing, perhaps, but there's a lot to be said for pleasure. Just a few thoughts,

Eve
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