Once upon a time, a long time ago . . .

Yesterday I ran across this picture of my first day of Kung Fu. Looking at how the height difference between Kayden and I has reversed itself, tells me it’s been a while. 

Like many others, I started as the mom and wife on the sidelines. One whispered ‘that looks like fun’ had my husband placing a uniform in my hands saying ‘you start on Monday.’ It was a cold weekend in our home.However, what was a bit of an unconventional start began a journey that lasted a distance with many valleys, long climbs, and downhills out of control along with mountain tops that would take my breath away. As I look at this photo I remember very clearly what it was about Kung Fu and more specifically Silent River that caught my interest and continued to bring me back through the doors every class.What I remember standing out was the respect, humility, hard work and compassion I saw being taught and practiced.I saw Silent River as a school that placed value and instilled qualities that I held high and ones that complimented what I believed and tried to practice in my own life. These are the qualities that still today I believe build men and women of character and integrity, something lacking in so many these days.

I have learned so many lessons in the last 12 years, been given opportunities to grow and contribute to the community and world I live, and I am thankful for each one. I know that the last 12 years have helped reinforce that what I put into something will determine what I get out. If I invest little or nothing, I can’t rightfully expect much in return. I have gained a confidence to try things that at an earlier time I allowed fear to hold me back from. I have been inspired and motivated to push and pursue. I have built meaningful relationships while sharing sweat and tears and even blood with some wonderful people. So for all of these moments and memories I am very grateful.

Alana Regier

Community Engagement

This weekend we did the Salvation Army Adopt a Kettle and even though many of the Sifus and Candidates were busy grading, all shifts were filled and it went smooth with only a couple of minor bumps.  This couldn't have been accomplished without everyone not only coming to help, but going above and beyond as well, some staying late and others doing double shifts.  I was prepared to fill in wherever was needed but the few times that I stopped to check in, all I received was a "don't worry, we got this". What an awesome group!

So what did we accomplish?  We pulled together to raise money for a good cause.  We worked together to support the local Salvation Army, for people who will be needing help especially during the holiday season.  Not bad for only an hour (or two) commitment.  As part of Silent River Kung Fu, giving back to the community is an important part of our training and engagement. This is something that I can improve on because doing community work should not be something I just fit into my schedule.  The more I understand how I can help, the easier it is to flex my schedule to ensure I can make these things happen.

Another community event that we also participate in is the Adopt a Driveway program.  We go and shovel the walks and driveway for a an elderly couple who are so appreciative of our efforts.  If you would like to help with this, please contact someone from the I Ho Chuan team or a Sifu. Many shovels make light work.

Thank you to everyone who takes time to support our community.  For all those that helped at the Salvation Army Adopt a Kettle, a huge thank you as well!  

Jackie Kohut

Normal Week

This week was a pretty normal week for me. Nothing crazy happened, just life as normal. It’s nice to have ordinary week once in a while. 

During the summer I got into running with a app I had. It had a bunch of guided runs that I tried and enjoyed. There was one run I remember clearly. It was one of the hardest runs I’ve done. Basically you ran at a fast pace for a minute, then at a slower pace for 2 minutes, for a total of only 30 minutes. The point was to try to recover your energy while you ran at the slower pace. It was very hard to do this but it is an important skill. It can apply to life too. If you can can maintain a baseline of productivity while your recovering, you can be so much more efficient. Instead of taking time off to “recover”, you can be productive in some other aspect of life. That way you are always doing somthing, while also recovering so to be ready for the next thing. 

I don’t know if that makes sense, but I think I will try to apply to my life in the next week.

Kobe Csillag

The Road to Recovery

I can't believe its been 4 weeks since I injured my ribs.  I really thought it was more than that because it has felt like it occurred so long ago.  This last week has been the first time where I have been able to do some (and only some) activities but I have lost so much that it feels like I have taken 10 steps back, actually it feels like 50 steps back.  As I have been down this road a couple of times, I knew that the road to recovery is more of a mental game than a physical one.  Its easy to make excuses and to not even try.  Its easy to get discouraged and wonder why are you putting yourself through this.  Its easy to say I'm too old for this.

What I learnt from previous injuries is that my body does not heal the way it did when I was younger and that I do need to slowly build things back up again so I don't reinjure it.  My brain knows that it will take time, that it will come back faster than before, that this is only a minor set back.  Funny how your brain can say all these thing but you really don't believe them and its easier to not do anything about it.  So why do we go on?  Well, I didn't start this journey to stop it now.

There have been a number of things this week that have helped me get back on track.  

  1. reading and memorizing Mastery - one part talks about how everyone is ordinary but its our actions that help us on the road to mastery.  

  2. Tai Chi classes - these classes are great alone, but when you have an injury, they help you move and slowly work those areas, gradually building strength and flexibility.  I have also found myself relaxing and allowing myself to be "in the moment"

  3. Morning workouts with Mr. Sollinger and Sifu Robinson - I HATE HAVING TO GET UP THAT EARLY but my best days are when we do our workouts together so after, I love that we do this.  Everyday I am able to do a bit more.

  4. My Instructors - I can't thank you all enough for letting me work on a backwards shoulder roll and some shrimping and then when I hit my limit, you have only supported me. This allows me to progress at my own pace.

  5. My successes - I had to stop looking back to before the injury occurred and measuring myself.  For now, I look back a week and measure from there. This way I can measure my improvements, even if they are small, and right now they are VERY small but they are still going in the right direction.

Now don't get me wrong, I am constantly needing to evaluate myself and ask "Is this just an excuse so I don't need to do something OR is it truly legitimate".  I can always find an excuse, but once I realize its an excuse, it is easier to get up and do something.

This is my road from an injury that has actually improved greatly in 4 weeks.  For those of you that have been struggling from more significant injuries, my heart goes out to you as I can imagine how hard and dark this road can be but please do not quit. Only when we quit are we truly beaten.  

See you on the mats!

Jackie Kohut