Recently in class, one of my students who had moved away stopped by for a visit. We were training and he tried to break my grip from his collar. He couldn’t and remarked, “Geez, Coach! You have a strong grip!” Aside from him not using the proper technique to strip the grip, I do have a habit of holding on too tightly to things.
One of the first blog posts I wrote years ago was on letting go, of grips and of things that are pulling us away from what’s important. I’ve realized that my martial arts studio, Redemption Martial Arts Academy, is and arguably has been taking my attention away from my family. Just as my student realized, I have a strong grip, even when I should let things go.
I’ve been struggling with this for a while. I’ve been coaching in some capacity for around 12 years. Part of my identity is tied to coaching. You could say I’ve been going through an existential crisis since accepting the closure of this chapter in my life. We survived COVID closing and reopening. We survived ups and downs in numbers and attendance. We won, lost, and learned in numerous competitions. But all good things must end.
It’s been a blessing because of everyone I’ve met. I’ve grown as a person through this adventure. As a poignant reminder, while taking my kids to school this morning, we heard, “End of the Road” by Boyz2Men. While I did not have a love affair with my academy, it is the end of the road, and I’m finding it hard to let go. But, alas, as Heraclitus alluded to, life is ever-changing. We either adapt or get swept away by it.