I am terrible at balance.

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All or Nothing Doesn’t Work

When I’m really excited about something—like karate—I go all out.

I absolutely LOVE karate. I want to be at my dojo all the time. I want to train all the time. I want to attend every possible tournament with my team. Anything that can help me improve my karate performance—I’m on it. Strength training, HIIT, cardio, kicking drills in my kitchen: I want to do whatever it takes to kick ass at my sport.

The problem? I go all out. And then I burn out.

That article I wrote on all-or-nothing thinking? Yeah, that’s me. Turns out just because you know the things, doesn’t necessarily mean you do the things.

Focus on Your Top Priority

It sounds pretty common-sensical—and it is, and I am probably the only one on the planet who took four years to figure this out—but, I have learned the hard way that I need to feel my best, and the most energized and ready to go, at my karate training sessions.

If I go to my dojo feeling fantastic and pumped, I will work harder, train smarter, have a clearer focus, recover faster, and improve more quickly.

Too much heavy lifting, or too long or too many HIIT workouts every week, or overly exuberant jump kicks while flipping pancakes—all of those things will detract from my performance, and from my ability to train hard and well at the dojo. Not only that, but doing so will increase my risk of injury and burnout, and decrease my motivation to train.

You want to feel your best when you’re doing that thing that is the most important to you.

Think of the Big Picture

If karate is a top priority, treat it as such. Aim to feel your best at your martial arts training sessions. You will improve that much faster if you feel energized and ready to go.

With smart planning and balance, it will be that much easier to stay fit and healthy, and decrease the likelihood of burnout and injury. And, ultimately, to kick ass at your sport.

Do you feel energized for your karate training sessions? If not, are there any adjustments you could make to other areas of your life—cross-training, sleep, scheduling—to help with this?