I was reading a blog of another martial artist talking about finding time to work on Kata. This prompted me to think about the time I spend training. In the past I have always found it a challenge to fit in my karate training. When I was also an instructor and working another full time job it was next to impossible. That was 20 years ago. Luckily my life has changed. There are no longer any children at home and I have a regular 9-5 type job. I no longer instruct and that leaves even more "open" time. Let us also say that I am now a "mature" person. Also, I only live six miles from my work so I have almost no travel time. (I do drive to work since the route includes a major highway with a 65 mile an hour speed limit and I can't pedal my bike that fast!) This means: I am lucky that it is now easy for me to carve out time to train.
Still however, now that I have been training for many years I also have a lot of material to cover. I have been training with most of my katas for over 20 years. Having taught them trained with them with etc. over the years they have become second nature. Although I still search for details and try to always improve them. One thing that does keep me going is: with this familiarity, I can almost meditate while doing them. I can get lost in the kata and follow each of my movements in fine detail. I am able to clear my mind and focus on doing just the kata. In the past I was always working on keeping my mind clear while doing a kata, but having a mind that just races along, made it a challenging endeavor. I would guess that "maturity" has helped me reach this ultimate goal as some of my AAD tendencies seem to be subsiding with age.
What I find that works for me is looking at "kata time" as my time. This is time to relax and meditate and be "lost" in the movement and the moment. For me sitting and meditating is just out of the question I just have to be moving. Even at work I fidget and move in my chair I am one of those people that is constantly on the move. Among many other things, this is one thing, even if I wasn't aware of it exactly at the time that brought me to and kept me in the arts for so long. So, combining my meditation time with kata becomes an effective time management tool. I also use this method for running and biking, heavy bag work, basics work, and so forth. I take all of the day's worries and pressures and wash them away with all my training. This approach I find refreshing. It makes me really want to train every day. The mind set of training to relax and relieve life's many worries just creates its own time.
I found I needed this time during my wife's battle with breast cancer. I was and am always supporting her in the battle against the disease. I am her main care giver. I owe her the responsibility to keep her care giver healthy. That is one more reason for me to remain training. We all have such responsibilities. If you are a parent and/or a spouse you have the responsibility to keep yourself healthy. If your family depends on you for support and love they want and need you to be healthy and to be the best you can be. To reach and maintain this goal we all need our own time. Having your own time recharges you and enables you to be a better spouse, parent and person. For me, this wipes out any feeling of guilt about what else I should be doing, since I should be training for my own health and my family needs my health too.
I have also found over the years that many people will miss a couple of days and begin to feel guilty and discouraged. The couple days turn into a week, a week turns into two weeks then a month and so on. If you miss one day or two days remind yourself that its O.K. Life's commitments can and do override training. There is always tomorrow. If you miss a day or even a week, just wipe the slate clean. Start fresh the next day you can. Relax and enjoy training its fun, rejuvenating, and stress relieving. For me training keeps me from becoming fat and happy and eventually fat and unhappy.