In martial arts it is easy enough to see how good we want to be through our masters, kung fu brothers or other inspirations around us. The process of learning a technique well can be an ongoing and sometimes even frustrating transition. But the process of trying to become a better martial artist or individual is a much more severe path that we must journey on. It is good to be able to visualize the warrior that you are trying to become. Whether you are trying to gain more speed, power, focus it can be disheartening to realize how far you are from where you "should" be. This is not unlike the process of chasing a dream that has yet to be realized or the on going pursuit for the house with the white picket fence. The unfortunate side of pursuing after a goal is to give ourselves pressure for the things that we have not yet attained. The pressure then becomes self resentment or even shame which can cause us to quit reaching toward our goal all together. It's funny how many students that I have had that would apologize to me for missing class. It is almost as if they were using me to apologize to themselves. The danger does not lie in missing practices or being busy. The danger is the self inflicted guilt trip that we give to ourselves and say, "I'm so far behind that I will never catch up." Or, "I have forgotten everything if I go back it will be embarrassing." This is the real danger! You're perception of yourself in the end is your reality. If you create walls that stop you from reaching your goal because your scared, embarrassed, ashamed or whatever, then you are you're own worst enemy. Yes it's good to get on a program and stay on it but if you don't...then your human. Get up and go back to it. Even if you have to start from square one it will be worth it and you will start to feel good all over again. Otherwise, you begin to dig an endless whole that inevidably will lead to self pity. Nothing effects you more than how you feel about you. If you are too hard on yourself you will never be able to make it to your finish line. It is never too late, you're never too far gone and you never out of the game.