50th Trip

Tomorrow will mark my 50th trip to W. Palm Beach to train in Systema. 50 times, all but 2 or 3 done solo. 20,000 miles. 300 hours of long, lonely driving. 250 hours of hard, physical training, complete with bruises, swelling and other assorted colorful additions. Countless punches, defenses and mistakes. 50 trips to train with the best martial arts instructor I have ever had. 50 trips to train in the best martial art I have ever experienced.

I mentioned this to a few people and was subsequently bombarded with questions.

How did you do this? Why did you do this? What was it like? How did you deal with the 6 hours of driving and 5 hours of training, all in one day? Was it worth it? You did this for how many years now, without missing? How? Why? When? etc. etc.

Instead of answering directly, I relayed an old Taoist tale that fit the bill.

You know this one. Is the glass is half full or half empty?

For the optimist, it is half full.

For the pessimist, it is half empty.

For the accountant, the answer depends upon the exact number of molecules compared with the exact number of potential molecules needed to fill the glass. If over 50%, it is half full. If under, half empty.

For the Zen master, neither the glass, nor the water actually exist. They are simply temporary concepts of the mind which will eventually pass.

For the philosopher, the question points to a deeper mean, a symbolic representation of life itself.

For the Quantum Physicist, the glass is almost totally empty. So is the glass itself. If you look at both from a quantum perspective, both glass and water are comprised mainly of empty space.

For the environmentalist, they are more worried about the water and how to get rid of all of the toxins.

For the politician, it is half full and half empty so they will tax both.

For the Taoist. . . . he simply grabs the glass and drinks the water.

Life is meant to be experienced, not analyzed.

Want to know what it is like to commit to something deeply like Systema? Come join me on my next trip. And the one after. And the one after that.

The 100th trip will be around the corner before we know it.