There are days when no matter what I do I can't use my legs or escape a cervical collar. Some days I just can't get my blood pressure above 80/50. On those days, as my physiotherapist puts it, "when you're lying in that bed, you'll want to have those memories." So much of my training involves the cultural aspects of practicing our Japanese-style customs, infused with the loving and supportive spirit of my dojo family. On those days when I've got my cane holding me up I'm thinking about who has hobbled beside me out of the dojo. When my muscles spasm all night long I'm thinking about how good it will feel to show up to karate the next morning and warm up a best I can among people who will be glad I made it through another night. I feel powerful love toward my dojo, a place where I will be guaranteed to connect with a sense of life, humanity, and every reason to keep doing my best.
A place that makes us want to become better as people must be appreciated and preserved. At the base of that work is appreciation for the relationships among the people who gather in that space, including the self.
My body will catch up. It just needs a little tenderness and careful management for a while. Or forever.