The moment you’ve been waiting for…

You’re walking up a hill when suddenly it becomes oddly quiet. It’s a dirt track and it has been consistently inclining for a good 10-minutes. It’s hurting, your lungs aren’t paying off your oxygen debt and your muscles are throwing knives at your brain. The desire to rest is as real as the day you first saw your bank balance hit $0. And for some reason (you’re not sure why) the sound of the breeze and birds has stopped. So quiet.

You’re alone, no one to judge you if you stop – still so quiet. You’re about to sit on a rock next to the path, you’re about to rest, when you remember a piece of advice from your instructor. She told you about this moment. “This is when it gets real”, she said. Your mind is blocking external sounds because there’s too much to process under the intensity of the moment.

You realise: you’ve hit “the zone”. This moment, where a rest will cost you nothing, is when you stand to take home a huge windfall. This is where you stand to gain the most in fitness and resilience – wheelbarrows full of the stuff is on offer. If you don’t stop.

So you push past that rock on the side of the track and find that just around the bend, behind a row of trees, is the summit. Your body is flooded with endorphins as you tear down the other side of the hill. A small but well-paying victory for your mind and body.

Most of us train in martial arts twice, maybe three times a week. That’s 2-3 hours out of 112 waking-hours in a week. If you get the chance in each of those hour-long sessions to make this decision, what are you going to do?

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