It’s gotten really muggy and warm lately…we almost skipped Spring, as a matter of fact.
I love the weather no matter what it’s doing, because I just feel blessed to have another day (I also happen to feel that we are incredibly fortunate here in the Northeast to have all four Seasons…with a noticeable (gorgeous!) difference between them.)
That doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in all weather, however, so it is important for me to dress appropriately (I’m not quite Nathan Lane in the Birdcage after hearing that he is “leaving,” but heat can take its toll on me without question.)
I wore my Slash tee to practice this morning – I commandeer the Dojang an hour or more before anyone else shows up, so I was able to go through my Kumdo form…in this lovely getup. I enjoyed being able to work without getting too overheated before class.
That said, there are, despite my personal preferences, times at which being appropriate trumps being comfortable – in Martial Arts, it is expected that you are in the designated uniform for class. The uniforms are a sign of respect, but also of discipline – I could liken it to a business man showing up for a client meeting in flips flops and shorts, instead of a suit and tie.
You just don’t do it!
I had the blessing to participate in a 300 mile bike ride over three days for ALS the summer before last, and the first day was 110 degrees – I actually laughed because not only am I not a DISTANCE athlete, I’m also NOT a HEAT athlete…
So nowadays, when I hear people complain that it’s hot out, I kind of chuckle. At one time, I’d NEVER dreamed of doing a sport where a hot environment was necessary (do figure skaters even do that?! *lol*) To train many hundreds of miles, and enroll in an event in the peak of Summer WAS admittedly a bit crazy on my part. But…completing it convinced me that I am capable of surviving hotter temperatures without turning to a vampy pile of ash. I may not be comfortable, but I can do it.
This morning a woman came to class wearing a tee shirt with her red belt – It was not my place to say a word to her about it, but did do a bit of a double take. The class began, many moons ago, as a very casual and “health-oriented” one…but because some of us took the time very seriously, others have also begun to. The wonderful thing about that is that we can train in a better way, but also help other belts work towards the next rank.
When I see kids not retie their belts, but instead take them off as soon as they slip, I help them to pull the knot – wearing the right uniform is an important part of Martial Arts, and can (potentially) teach discipline and respect early on.
I wore my Slash tee while working with my sword and stretching, but I had my Dobok on before the Grandmaster showed up for sure! I love you, Slash…and you kept me cool…but I had to put the long sleeves on eventually…even if not everyone followed that unspoken rule!