I help teach the kids class at our dojo, and it never ceases to amaze and humble me how much energy those li’l ankle biters have. Thankfully, the class is only 45 minutes, because by the end, both Jay and I are usually sweating and panting after trying to keep up with them. I’d like to say I’m grateful that their energy and enthusiasm keeps me young, but that would be a dirty lie. In fact, their energy and enthusiasm are overwhelming and exhausting. You know, in a good way.
What I am grateful for is their open mindedness and willingness to try new things. When I teach adults, I often find that although the spirit is willing, the mind is weak: adults often have to overcome preconceived notions on how something should be done, despite repeated admonitions to the contrary. Once a kid understands what you’re asking them to do, they just do it.
That’s a refreshing way to approach new situations, and something I try, with greater or lesser degrees of success, to keep in my practice on the mat and my life off the mat. So although I often wish I could siphon off some of their energy into my batteries, I’m grateful for their fresh, uncluttered perspective and open and accepting spirits.