Today I'm writing from Bear Flats, Arizona; a quiet place which is just a few miles away from Tonto Village. If you're not familiar with the surroundings of Arizona, you're in good company, but it's about ten miles away from Payson and about two hours away from Phoenix, up in the mountains. I think my grandpa said that we're up about four-thousand feet, and believe me, I can tell. It's a hundred-thirteen degrees in Phoenix. Guess how hot it is up here? Eighty-three, maybe. Low fifties at night.
Anyway, Bear Flats is a beautiful place. It's very quiet and time seems to move slowly, here. There's a creek that runs throughout the community called Tonto Creek, which has a wonderful fishing selection of trout and other kinds of fish that I don't know the names of (I'm not a huge angler, but we're going to go fishing tonight and I'm very excited).
I've been trying to get some practice time in while I'm here, because missing class doesn't suit me well. So, after about an hour of staff work and striking practice, I decided that it might be fun to go down to Tonto Creek (which is pretty much in the backyard) and sit on the rocks for a while and meditate.
Well...that didn't go as planned.
I fell in.
It was wonderful.
What does that have to do with karate? Well, I found out that I'm not very good at meditating...nor balancing on slippery surfaces, apparently. My staff also fell in, so I had to go chasing after that. It was definitely not what I had planned on happening!
I went to the creek with the intention of clearing my mind and instead, I got excited and wet.
Sometimes things don't work out like we expect them to. But just because my original plan didn't work doesn't mean that the new plan wasn't really, really fun...and to some extent, really helpful to my mental health.
I tend to get so serious when I'm training. Before today, I might have called such a scenario a training failure. I might have said that I was unfocused and unprepared and non-productive and off-center...and I wouldn't necessarily be wrong!
But maybe just plain old having fun can be part of training, too.