You Never Know

He seemed like a good guy, though we had just met. Lorenzo’s size — 6’5″ and about 280 pounds caught my attention of course, but so did his good nature and the fact that he fit into our group very quickly. Imposing figure aside, we had an unusually small group training so given this was his first class, I was able to spend a little more time with him then usual with him.

The nearly 2 hours of training just flew by as it always seems to do. When you do what you love, time becomes very malleable.  Lorenzo did not verbalize anything to me, but seemed to enjoy the class based upon his outward expressions. Afterwards, I drove home and went about my business, giving little thought to the completed class.

You never know. For whatever reasons, most people seem to be reluctant to express their feelings or reactions. Even if asked, one cannot be sure if this is the true reaction or simply an individual being polite.

Two days later, I received an earful from Lorenzo’s dad, Clarence. He went on and on about how much he enjoyed the class and plans on moving from Texas to Winter Garden, FL (our school location) to train. Lorenzo also spoke at length to his brother who will also be joining us. This was not a “light rain.” It was a “torrential downpour!”

Of course, I was a thrilled as could be. It is a great feeling, knowing that someone found an art that they enjoy and a place to train. I was also reminded that you never know. I never would have guessed that Lorenzo would have this type of reaction, so much so that he is altering his entire life to fit the training into his schedule.

I am reminded of my own experiences with Systema and how the phrase “you never know” has been a theme. Many years ago, I called up Marc Bresee, an Instructor from Sarasota, FL. At the time, I did not know Marc, nor did I know about Systema. My sole “experience” was viewing a handful of clips on YouTube. Marc went out of his way to set up a full day of training for me. A handful of his students also came to the 5 hour event and it opened up a door, one that has lead me down one of the most enjoyable paths of my entire life. Someone went out of their way for someone else. Because of their thoughtfulness, kindness and energy, Central Florida Systema was eventually born. 25 students have a place to train. Lorenzo will be #26. I now have an opportunity to share what I know and hopefully, make a difference in people’s lives. This happened because someone – Marc – went out of their way for a stranger.

What happens when you go out of your way for someone else? What happens on a nondescript Monday when a big guy walks through the door for the first time to train? What happens when you decide to take a risk, open a business, extend a helping hand, write a book or anything out of your comfort zone? What happens when you come to class when you sometimes don’t want to? What happens when, regardless of the circumstances, you keep coming to class?

You never know.