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Offered by: Willy Strohmeier – Colorado Karate Club

I don’t know how many times I have put on a Karate uniform in my life, and over the past forty some years I’ve gone through so many Karate uniforms and belts that I’m sure I could fill rooms with them.

Now, I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person, so I was surprised when, while getting ready for Karate class the other day, this odd feeling came over me. I was tying my belt in front of the mirror, and my Karate uniform caught my eye (weird since wearing it is second nature). But at that moment, I felt a special joy to be putting it on… To be able to wear it and go teach. It was as if a voice in my head said to me “Wow you get to teach Karate, how awesome is that?!”

You may be thinking, “Wait, isn’t the Karate school closed due to the pandemic?” Well, yes, and no. The doors to the building may be closed for now, but our school remains open and very active, with live virtual classes and other assignments. Our students keep training, and we hold them accountable for their progress.

Sure, virtual classes are not our preferred choice, and we can’t wait for a return to normal. But good heavens, I am just so happy that we still get to work with our students, train together, share our knowledge, and continue to witness the strengthening of their character week over week.

What struck a chord for me was that in that short moment, I subconsciously realized what a privilege I still enjoyed in teaching, even on-line. I set aside what was not there (our school building full of students) and went on, happy and grateful for the opportunity to still be with our students and teach.

I think that way too often, we spend time and energy bemoaning what we don’t have, that we may miss the wonderful things we do have. They are there, all you have to do is open your eyes and see, truly see them. For me, on that reflection of my uniform, I realized that my joy was not anchored on a school building, but on the success of my Karate students.

So I invite you to ask yourself…Today, truly, where is your joy?

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Colorado Karate Club