A Challenge To Be Won

By: Sensei Dave Hanson

I don’t know about you when it comes to facing a new challenge, but for me when I began my martial arts training it was a challenge to be won.  It seemed to call me and entice me to see what I was really made of.  When I first sat down as a teenager many years ago across from my Sensei prior to me beginning my training he told me, “Becoming a black belt is hard and I don’t know if you have what it takes.” I eagerly accepted his challenge.  Was I intimidated by the challenge the martial arts presented and working for years to attempt and become a black belt? You bet! I didn’t know if I could do it. But I had to find out. I knew the pain of regret would be to much for me. Much harder than the pain of any punch, or kick I could take.  I had to see if I had what it takes.

I believe every student who accepts the journey of the marital arts has a warrior within wanting to express itself and rise to the challenge and see what they are made of.  As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”

When was the last time you accepted a challenge?  If it has been a while then you are probably overdue.  We all need challenges in our lives, they are what make us feel most alive.  To know we have fought our hearts out and gave our best.  Few things are as satisfying as giving your all for a fight worthy of your sacrifice, soaked in sweat with your heart beating and feeling like you could fall at any time, but having deep within your soul the satisfaction of knowing that you gave your very best and fought valiantly for a worthy cause.  I extend this challenge to you to find something worthy of your attention and your heart and then give yourself wholly to achieving it.  When you do make sure it fits these three criteria: Make sure it is something you are passionate about, something that involves and benefits others and something that you can pass on and leave a legacy.  Then accept your challenge and don’t look back. My friend, life is to be lived in the challenge.  Until you discover your challenge you will find that you truly haven’t lived life to its fullest. Find your challenge and then embrace it.

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