Have you ever been stopped in your tracks by a beautiful butterfly dancing across the sky, flying then settling on a flower then without warning flying again? We were in Berwick on a family weekend away and I was taking a walk on the battle mounds that fortify Berwick from the raiders of old and the caravanner’s of recent times (I don’t know which one is more scary looking?) when I saw a beautiful butterfly just flying and landing then off again seemingly enjoying itself and feeling on top of the world and basking in the sunshine! When I watch people come into the gym they are like little caterpillars just inching their way along a leaf to spend their time munching on the edge of it learning that it needs to eat a lot to grow, just as the student has to learn the basics to progress, but also be watchful that the birds don’t eat them if they are not careful!
Just as students get side-tracked by Belts, ego’s and injuries that stop them progressing!
The Art’s show progression in belts but that sometimes gives the student bad information or feedback, they sometimes think that the person is the belt and the belt is the person, this is where the ego comes into play. If you get a certain belt you think you are better than someone else and that shy student can become a bully and in caterpillar terms could get eaten by a hawk!
Sometimes students find the first lower grades easy and as they progress they think they are invincible, then they run into people that are just as good as themselves then find it hard to continue and because it gets hard they give up faking injury or other get out clauses ” I would have been a black belt or  world champion if it had not been for my ingrowing toenail! Or in caterpillar terms fall off the leaf onto the floor below!
Then as the caterpillar (student) progress through the training getting ‘Fatter’ with knowledge (not burger kings) you can see the confidence growing, they remember the life lessons of watching out for the hawks, they look after and protect the littler caterpillars and avoid going onto leaves where they could fall off to their death!
There comes a time that they have to make a cocoon, it is hard work, you want to work to earn it, no-one is going to build it for you!  They stay in the cocoon for a certain amount of time growing and changing then gradually break out, spread their wonderful coloured and patterned wings and bask in the sunshine, drying them until they are ready to fly for the first time! Up into the air they go and on a leaf down below them is a little caterpillar saying “one day!”
Life Lessen
Until next time
Be the butterfly

John Atkin

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