When I was 19 years old I started taking martial arts lessons. I eventually earned my black belt in an Okinawan style of karate called Shorei Goju Ryu. Throughout the years I trained in karate there were several key lessons that have stuck with me to this day.
The most memorable stems from what my sensei jokingly called, “The Great Okinawan Lie.” The “lie” was a Japanese phrase he used on the mat almost daily. He would tell us repeatedly, mou ichido (pronounced Mo-EE-Chi-Doh). In Japanese, mou ichido translates to “one more time” and conveys a sense of one’s repetition of something as part of a process.
There’s a lot to be said about repetition and muscle memory; how it can help us perform without thinking whether that is the way we do our job or how some runners can seemingly on instinct run a specific pace and come in within a few seconds of their target goal each time regardless of the distance of the race. The conscious effort to continue or to do another repetition leads to a habit or muscle memory that becomes over time, second nature to how we perform. We begin to perform on autopilot. However, we must consciously push mou ichido and strengthen that muscle memory and our very resolve to continue when otherwise we don’t feel like it or are just unmotivated.
To this day I still find myself repeating the mou ichido mantra during training sessions. One more time, one more repetition, one more rep, one more set, one more lap, one more mile and sometimes, one more step.
I got up early today on New Year’s Eve and drove to my gym (LA Fitness) as I usually do to find that they weren’t open yet. The gym is opening two hours later for some reason. I’m not sure what that reason is since tomorrow (not today) is a non-working holiday for the US and many other countries, plus we as a planet (for the most part) will celebrate this evening not this morning.
Anyway, now that I’m off my soap box… I drove back home and was a little ticked since I had this plan to do two-a-day workouts all week and I am off to a bad start already. I hope there’s warmer weather for a run or two on Wednesday!
So I decided to whip out the Insanity DVDs and see what kind of damage I could do. First, I did the Cardio Abs video that’s about 16 minutes long. I forgot what kind of workout Shaun T can put you through given 16 minutes. Holy moly my abs burn! Then since I wasn’t sure if LA Fitness would be open later today I doubled up and did the Cardio Recovery video that’s 32+ minutes long to get a little more abdominal work and a good stretch.
I could have hit the showers and called the whole thing a wash allowing myself to be ticked off enough to let it ruin my day…or worse my workout! We’ve all been there right? Something blows our mind, we’re off schedule and we just say to heck with our workout as a result.
Even if I had half the time I would have still done the abdominal work because there’s always time for something…