i was going for our departmental walk the other day. our small group goes for a 25 minute walk every work day. it’s our way of trying to be healthier along with just getting a break from the computer. sometimes the conversations will be about family, vacations, television. other days it turns towards work where we can problem solve in a different environment. there’s no set discussions. it’s a free for all.
before i get back to the topic from the first paragraph, i must divulge a touch of OCDness that i have. when we walk, there are form lines in the concrete. every 10 foot or so, another form line. there are also parking lines and directional arrows painted on the surface. for years, and i don’t know how or when it began, but i refuse to step on the “crack” or on any painted part. and you only thought i was mildly bizarre.
anyway, back to paragraph one about this strange little thing i do … when i’m out for our walks, i’ll see a crack coming up ahead of me or maybe a painted arrow for cars to know the direction, and i’ll automatically adjust my stride to make sure i won’t end up stepping on them. sometimes it’ll be so close that i find myself turning my foot ever so slightly just to make sure my toes don’t accidentally touch the crack. i do it without thought and have been for years. i do this so effortlessly that i have to MAKE myself actually step on a crack or paint. (and for the record, my mom’s already dead, so i’m not worried about her back.)
only recently have i started wondering if any other kenpoists (or any other version of martial artists) have, in the back of their minds, this control of body within the environment they may be placed. i don’t think others have my weird “don’t step on a crack” mentality, but just the concept of throwing a punch at full power and being able to stop the punch just prior to impact. another example, and my instructor is very good at this, is throwing a round house kick to someone’s head and stopping it just prior to contact, then slowly lowering it back to the ground.
while i don’t have that kind of control over my punches or my horrid kicks, i can, without thought, walk through our parking lot and avoid those stupid form lines and painted parking lot lines/arrows. it makes me think that someday i can have more control of my body whether it’s while sparring or teaching techniques to lower belts.
i’d like to think so … or it’s quite possible this is the kind of thing that will land me in a straight jacket someday.
— chunky ninja