Monday, May 09, 2016

"It's a dangerous business walking out one's front door..."

I live in a small rural town. Rural, as in, nunya can completely comprehend the real meaning of 'rural'.  You see many rural towns if you drive across Nevada, and this one isn't much different than any other small, rural Nevada towns. There are small rural towns scattered throughout this good ol' U.S of A.

I like it here. There is nothing. Nothing. No medical. No theatre. No stoplight. Hardly any sidewalks. Our grocery store has 12 aisles. But a short 10 to 15 minute drive will get you to the top of a mountain with abundant hiking, fishing and wilderness. That same 10 to 15 minutes will get you to hills with streams and more fishing, or natural hot springs. Its great. Fresh air and very few people.

So when I travel from this middle-of-nowhere town into the great unknown. The adventure is always one that send ripples out that one has no idea what will happen.

As Gandalf says, "It's a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."

When I left the traditional martial arts system back in '99-2000, I soon found myself at a Buddhist Monastery, hanging out with the likes of Roshi Joan Halifax, and others. It was during some time there that I realized I needed to teach women some personal defense. Put some of my skills out there and start teaching a group, a target audience that I had never taught before. My martial arts students were always guys.

After deciding I was going to teach women self defense, I journeyed across the country to attend my first American Women's Self Defense Association* Seminar. I did so strictly to get the little piece of paper that said I was 'certified' to teach. Woo hoo. What I got was so much more that a certificate. I gained an extraordinary teacher when I met Phil, who I now train with as often as I possibly can.

I also gained many long-time friends, from all over the country. All which have the want of teaching women how to defend as a common bond. But most do other things as well; school teachers, councilors, professors, administrators, law enforcement, writers and more.

I live in a podunk, mud-puddle of a town, with absolutely nothing, but the people I have met along my journey, and the friendships gained, have opened doors beyond here. In fact, because of being swept off, I will be participating in a workshop this weekend that has nothing to do with self defense, specifically. But the opportunity to do so has come about strictly because of the self defense involvement.

So, stepping out my front door, driving for 2.5 miles hours to the nearest international airport, I will venture fourth to cross off a long-desired bucket list item. It is incomprehensible to me. How do I find myself at these places with these people, doing these things? Life is amazing and the windows of opportunity are within reach. But you must be willing to step out the door. Even if you have to do so all by yourself. Because you won't be by yourself for long.

Taking that first step sometimes is the scariest. But the journey, the adventure, no matter what it brings fourth, cannot be experienced any other way.

*as far as I am aware the AWSDA organization I knew has changed, I am no longer a member.

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