Ever since I moved 30 minutes outside of the city, it's been a struggle to get to the dojang on a weekly basis. When I lived close to the dojang (30 minute walk or 10 minute drive + 5 minute parking time), it was a lot easier to motivate myself to go in for a good, hard workout. Now, it's more of planning 2 hours of my day for commute time, parking costs, whether or not the Red Sox are playing, and how long I intend my workout to be, just to get into the dojang. I'm no less passionate about Taekwon-Do, but living so much further away from the dojang and having real world, career-related commitments makes it that much harder to stick to my martial arts goals. I find myself struggling more and more with this; I want to advance to the next level, but I also need to ensure that I can commit the appropriate time and energy with certain regard to my work schedule. (Dropping down to one job, albeit full-time, has not made my time management easier.)
Don't get me wrong; I have plenty of people I can tap into for support - my training partner, several other members of the Black Belt community, etc. They have always stood by me, provided me with encouragement, and motivated me when necessary (and I have done the same for them when things got difficult). I do want to get back into daily practice, and I know that everything I said above can be counteracted with better planning and straight-up commitment.
Knowing my schedule for the next month, I froze my account until October, since I won't even be able to get into the dojang until then due to travel and the nature of my job (budget season). But once October comes around, I will try to go to class and practice more than I have been earlier this year. I will make my goals for attaining the next degree by December, as soon as certain other aspects of my life come into clarity.
On another note, I have been maintaining my fitness. Since March, I have been taking advantage of the corporate gym, taking classes or working out solo 3-5 times a week. I am glad I made the conscious change to do so; for a year after I graduated from the MBA program I did not do any true physical activity outside of TKD and my body paid for it. I now take yoga and pilates classes, as well as bootcamp style classes, since having fellow gym goers in a room being pushed by an instructor motivates me to attend class and push myself.
The benefits of taking these classes is evident - my core is stronger and my flexibility has improved. With regards to my knee, I can now sit Indian-style for longer periods of time without going numb, I can do Child's Pose, I can sit on my heels, and I can sit in a squat. The knee itself still cracks every now and then, and my left hip is still overcompensating for the weaker knee on that side, not to mention the right side of my body constantly tries to make up for the weaker left side. The good thing is that I am more aware of my body - where the cracks are coming from, where I am tighter after a hard workout, and where I need strengthen my muscles. I hope I can continue to maintain this health change through the rest of this year.
Here's to another 5 months left before 2012.