Keep Learning and Growing by Bill Hedrick
In class the other night, Master F. talked about intelligence and remarked that he was just a “dumb jock.” He talked about his high school years were the coach would run his players through the woods, the ones that ran around the trees would be running backs and receivers, the guys that ran through the tree would be line men. He allowed as how he was a lineman. Well he may have been in the last century, but I would respectfully disagree with him now.
I know old dumb jocks. Whether athletes or just guys with the same ethos. They are people who, when they graduated, never opened a book again. They quit learning at age 18 or 22. There is a study that says that even with music the majority of people quit listening to new music about age 30. Incidentally this is why popular music radio stations play music from the 70s and 80s. Boomers are still the coveted demographic.
The reason for this is simple. Pain. Humans avoid pain. When we get to a point of comfort, when we feel that we can satisfy ourselves or the requirements our job has for us, we have no reason to stretch, to work outside our comfort zone. There is a thirst for greatness,but if you can, and it’s fairly easy, convince yourself that you are good enough, when you don’t have an goal, just beyond your reach, you settle. You find a moral, intellectual, political, or physical comfort zone, you sit down, shut off your “grow” button and slowly die. But when you are growing you don’t suffer needlessly, you know what needs to be done and you find the best way to do it, you run around the trees, not through them.
There is a Klingon saying “Khomerex na khesterex” this means if you aren’t growing you are dying.
As age catches up with me, I know they aren’t mutually exclusive, but the point is clear. “Better to burn out than rust away.” Each of our life threads has an end, but the way to end it is going up, not slowly rolling downhill.
Master F. is not, and our dojang has no “dumb jocks.” I may not be learning what you are learning, but I am still learning. I’ve known Master F. for 2 years and he’s not the same guy I met in March of 2015. He’s grown, all of you have.
We are athletes, there is no doubt, but none of us are “dumb jocks.” We can’t be, there is still too much to learn.
Author: Master Robert Frankovich
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