Rode Hard And Put Away Wet

my God, where do these days go?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

So, the boy started Karate lessons last night... or is it Tae Kwon Do? I can't manage to keep all that straight. Anyway, I sat on the bench and watched as his instructor made them do things Sam has never even dreamt of before. Things like stretches. The concept of stretching, for a boy who has, for his entire life, been automatically limber, is a foreign one. Of course, the stretching would be fine if, say, it didn't hurt like you-know-what.

But here's the part that surpised me, the part I didn't see coming. Sam had never done these things before, ever. So he had simply no idea of even how to begin to do them. I never thought about neednig to be coached to do stretches. God bless him, Sam's instructor was very patient in helping him to stand the right way for knee-bends, to get into push-up position, etc. Now, I'm no athlete, but I've played my share of sports so that sort of thing comes completely naturally to me. I guess that I went through the same learning process when I was his age - but I sure as hell don't remember it. So it caught me off guard.

The other thing that I wasn't prepared for was how proud I would be watching my boy doing something so simple. There was a time, during one of the stretches, that he was obviously hurting. He hadn't felt pain like that before. But he didn't quit. He pushed through it and finished the stretch. I'm not sure I've ever smiled so big.

Anyway, all that got me thinking about how everything we do is based on these tiny things - things that we don't even remember learning. Church comes to mind here - when did I first take communion? Dunno, but it seems natural now, it seems basic. It seems elemental. So it's strange for me to think of the folks out there who are just learning all this stuff for the first time. Like Sam, they're undergoing the pain of stretching themselves. Why are we doing this? How is this helping me? Why am I putting myself through this church business when I could be out on my boat?

You know what Sam's instructor told him when he asked why they needed to stretch? He said, "Sam, what if one day you're fighting someone who is very, very tall? You're going to need to be able to kick very high, right? That's why you stretch."


Blogger MW Rice said...

How old is this Kung Fu Master??

8:53 AM  
Blogger John said...

Sorry - should have put that info in there. He's 5, but will be 6 next month.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Myles said...

so wise, that samuel. sensei samuel, you are a master yet.

4:52 PM  

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