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Mad At Myself For A Cold

Well, my shingles are just about all gone... so I caught a cold. I have not caught a cold since June of last year, when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I told myself that I could not afford to get sick. She is doing very well now, but that is no excuse for getting sick.

My Kenpo Karate instructor, Mr. Florentino S. Pancipanci, used to tell us that we should get mad at ourselves if we got sick. If we got sick, it would interfere with our work and training so we should not allow ourselves to become sick. He wanted us to feel that our health was within our control. I also think that by getting mad at ourselves, we were telling our subconscious that we did not approve of getting sick.

We should not simply view getting sick as an accident. It is something that we have at least some control over.

Control or not, I got sick and spent most of the last two days sleeping. I even missed training tonight. Arghhh!

But I realize that even Karate instructors are human. Since I know many older Sensei, I have seen that they too suffer from illnesses and disease -- just like all humans. I would say that most are in better shape than ordinary people, but not necessarily in better shape than other athletic people of their age. What I mean is this: a 70 year old Karate Sensei may not be in better shape than a 70 year old swimmer, runner, or Yoga practitioner. The Karate Sensei may be in better shape or he may not. It all depends.

Of course, you could argue that the Karate Sensei could defend himself better than the others. But is his health any better? I wonder.

For myself, I want to remain as healthy and active as possible as long as possible. At 50, I still have time to tailor my Karate training and exercise regimen to accomplish this.

I guess that the point I am trying to make is this: training in Karate for self defense motivations is not enough for me -- I also want it to enhance my health and longevity. These goals should go hand in hand.

There is a saying that Shorin-Ryu instructors live to at least 85. I am glad that I practice Shorin-Ryu! But I know that we cannot simply rely on a saying. We have to work at it. We have to exercise, watch our diet, watch our stress, etc.

But for today, I am mad at myself for catching a cold. I will have to be more mindful so that I can avoid it the next time.


Charles C. Goodin