Coronavirus Life isn't Everything or Nothing. It's Yes, and...

“Where were you when the world stopped turning….” in the Spring of 2020?  Probably in your living room being bugged by kids for a third snack as you look at the clock and it’s only 10am.  Yes, our lives sure have been turned upside-down with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Schools are closed, people are mandated to stay at home, some have lost jobs, others worry for the future of their family business, and many fear the illness and its possible affects on their extended family and friends.

In my personal life today, as I write this, I am waiting for the news of the postponement date for the US Open ISKA World Martial Arts Championships. I was scheduled to write today, so I write. Yet it’s hard to be positive, when I sit and wait to hear about the new date.  This tournament is the premier event of sport martial arts.  It is broadcasted on ESPN.  It truly was something my son was looking forward to as a new member of Team Competitive Edge (who won the World Title last year and was featured on the ESPN Broadcast). In addition to the June tournament in Orlando, I'd spent a year planning this --a full-out 8-day family vacation there as a graduation celebration for my son and a way to gather our adult children for some family time.  I had a family hook-up on lodgings, rewards mile air tickets, and just paid a ton for theme park tickets back in March.  So yes, a challenging day on the emotions to be sure.

But here’s what I also got to experience today.  Our young black belt Instructors reporting in to me on their private video lessons with students in text messages to me, saying things like “Landon got his stripe!”  - with so much pride and joy for having had a great moment and connecting with a student.  Then I got to cut up a little piece of electrical tape (a stripe for their belt) and drop it in the mail to the person who earned it.  I mean, there is nothing better than seeing and imagining the smiles of accomplishment! 

Here’s what the students of KC’s and the practice of martial arts can teach us during this time -- that there are still goals to be met, challenges to undergo, achievements to be earned, work to be done and progress to be had in our lives. We can, and should, celebrate all of this.  We are where we are with regard to the current world and we get to choose our reaction -- complain about it and dwell on the negatives or simply recognize where we are, take a breath, and continue to celebrate what we have.  Life is not “everything or nothing”. It is “yes, and…”  As in: “Yes, COVID-19 is making life challenging. And, I still get to train at KC’s!”

How we move forward despite challenges is where we flex our black belt attitude. Stay positive, persevere, find solutions to challenges, inspire, achieve, love, and continue to celebrate life. 

So, now that I’m nearly finished writing--I was inspired to do so by my friend Amy, despite having a rough day…here’s how I feel now:  Inspired, hopeful and ready to rearrange some travel plans!  Yes, I had a moment of sadness earlier, and I’ve got some cool stuff I want to do!”

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