Hello everyone. Hope all is well in your world and on your journey, whatever that may be. I thought I would take a few minutes and share some thoughts that hopefully you will find useful.
It’s been some time ago that I was sitting amongst a group of senior-ranking black belts talking about one thing or another when one of the men in the group mentioned being eligible to test (for a higher rank) sometime in the upcoming year. He made the statement that he would need to start training and get ready for when the time came. Now this is something that I have said on more than one occasion about an upcoming testing, tournament, exhibition, etc. throughout my TaeKwonDo journey.
During the conversation another person simply stated, “I walk ready.” He said that at a moment’s notice he could be told to go get dressed out to test and he would be ready to go. I am friends with this person and know him well enough to know that his comment wasn’t an egotistical boast but fact. This stuck with me, and I spent days thinking about what he said swirling around in my head.
Am I walking ready? I have been doing TaeKwonDo and other forms of martial arts training for over 40 years, and of course I can’t turn back the clock to my glory days of split kicks and such. But am I in the best shape I can be in, and am I maximizing my ability to train where I am currently?
The answer was no.
I am a professional instructor in TaeKwonDo. This is not only my passion, but it’s also my job. Am I being the best example to my students?
This realization motivated my training for the next 12 months. After changing some things in my diet, rearranging and maximizing my training schedule, and reinvesting myself in “me,” I can proudly say that I am walking ready again. My weight is where it was at the peak of my competition years, my flexibility has improved, my cardio is great and I am walking the walk as an instructor/practitioner and not just talking the talk. Now I get to the point of why I am writing this and sharing it.
The reason is that it feels good and I wanted to make sure that by sharing this I might plant the “walk ready” idea in your head so you can start thinking. Ask yourself if you are walking ready? Are you ready for that upcoming testing, self-defense situation, marathon run, job promotion, etc. If you are, congratulations! If not, then start making a plan today to get where you want to go (fail to plan, plan to fail). Write down where you are, where you want to be, and then draft a plan to get you there. I would also share that plan with someone who could help you with accountability. I shared my plan with a couple of training partners/friends so that it was harder for me to backslide. And finally, when you get to that destination, please share the idea of walking ready with someone else. Please reach out if I can help in any way and good luck on your journey!
-Jack Stevens Jr.