5 Life lessons I learned from my burnout

January 3, 2015 marked my second year in Filipino Martial Arts. Unlike the “I breathe-think-talk-do-FMA-all- day-long” first anniversary,  this one was quiet and reflective. As some of you may know, I got tired of FMA. Some months back, I burned out bad and needed a time away.

And so, rest from FMA I did.

And you know what? Along the way I realized that, just like in everything else in life, taking a break is not bad at all. In fact, it has numerous benefits and I learned some valuable life lessons:

1. The world will continue to revolve even without you.

I’m embarrassed to admit it even to myself, but I had that secret pride in my heart and thought that my group wouldn’t be the same without me:  They’d be lonely when I don’t show up for practice. For sure they’ll miss me.

Who was I kidding? They continued to train and enjoy their sessions!

Aside from training, I was also supportive in tournaments.  I was active in the behind the scenes work like documentation, housekeeping, and food preparation. But since I was taking a break, I didn’t help during the latest tournament our group organized. I did go just to watch. And you know what? They still did well and the tournament was a success.

Note to self: Nobody’s indispensable.

2. Sometimes it takes the insight of others to make you realize a truth 

As a substitute for my FMA training, I signed up for a full marathon and joined a running group. I’m deep into training now and I can honestly say that I do like running. But last night, as hubby and I were having our usual after dinner tea, I was a bit surprised when he said “After your marathon, you should go back to FMA. It’s what you love. You were happier when you were in it.” I was a bit taken aback because he said it so bluntly. Really? Did it really show?

After some speechless moments, and feeling sort of weird and relieved at the same time, I finally declared, “You’re right, I was happier when I was in FMA.”

Sometimes you just need to hear it from others.

3. The saying “different strokes for different folks” is true

I met and talked with different athletes – runners, bikers, triathletes, judokas, fencers, archers, and even a few from other FMA styles. All of them are passionate about their sport. One simple question like “Why do you like your sport?” will lead to a long enumeration of all the good things about it. Sure, FMA is good, and I think it is one of the best martial arts/sports in the world.  But that’s for me. What I like at this point in my life, is the best sport for me. That goes for the others also. We cannot be smug and declare that ours is the best and nothing else.

4.  The right words, said at the right time soothe.

When I told my friends that I was tired of FMA, they did not shake their heads and say, “I knew that would happen…”  Instead they were encouraging and kind:

  • It’s ok. Music has intervals between notes
  • Life is a constant flow
  • Taking physical and mental breaks is good
  • Take your time
  • Fall in love with the long walk
  • Come and spend a few days at my family’s place
  • Rest
  • I also felt the same way, many times in the past

5.  Rest gives you the opportunity to go back to the drawing board

Burning out is a harsh way to learn, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. But sometimes changes in behavior can only happen with strong shocks to the system. Stepping back gives the opportunity to evaluate habits and attitudes and correct what needs correcting. What comes out will be clearer and better.

And that, my friends, is a good thing.












6 thoughts on “5 Life lessons I learned from my burnout

  1. HALFORD E. JONEWS January 22, 2015 / 1:11 AM

    Your recent ‘discovery’ mentioned in this post is not unusual. Few people can understand any of this and will also ‘drop’ you from their ‘radar’ when you remain apart, unless there are other compelling interests or forces that bring them to continue to contact you, which become weak. We all have what is termed ‘a magnetic center’ and few of us have developed it to the extent where it takes over and guides and directs to things. It is not an obsession or compulsion , though it may seem so to others who have very weak magnetic centers or concentration or few aims in life, the latter of which you must determine for yourself though everything tends to work against such aims as you will find. People are easily distracted and absorbed by others and things, actually ‘eaten-up’ by things, as time fades or devours everything around you. As you grow older you must speed up because you have less time. If you slow down you will not reach your aims in life, and life will have passed you by. It is a hard lesson that few seldom learn until they are about to die, and most die, unfortunately, as I have often said, ‘like dogs’ not humans.

    • Joy February 20, 2015 / 11:29 PM

      Yes I’m sure that this discovery is not unusual and it’s really up for us to be mature enough and find our center. Otherwise, things will just get us down. Thanks for this comment Halford. I also like what you said about speeding up as you get older. That’s wise.

  2. running honeybee January 24, 2015 / 1:10 PM

    Go back stronger! True love never dies 🙂

  3. chaenlnk January 28, 2015 / 5:21 AM

    When I had to move away from where I had trained, it was hard leaving all these great people. I continued training at home and started my club with help from my Sensei’s. For 11 years I taught, loved teaching, met more great people. Then a job change meant a moving away from all this.
    During this time, things went on as always at my first dojo, but I did keep in contact with my Senseis and a few of the other students. I would go up every other year or so to help out with tournaments as well, seeing as you did, that things had just kept right on going without me, heh.
    My training fell off when my best friend, also my first black belt student, moved away. It’s not easy practicing Karate by yourself, as so many aspects are geared towards partnering up.
    I suspected my love for it might fade as I pursued other activities, but it never did. I still talk it, try to walk it and will never ever let it out of my system.

    • Joy February 20, 2015 / 11:36 PM

      Chaenlnk, thank you very much for visiting and commenting. Very few things are permanent and changing and moving away happens. It’s just difficult when you’ve formed a bond deeper than just training partners. Some of those in my group were already like family to me.

      So are you training again now?


  4. dlifewithlordjesuschrist April 17, 2015 / 12:49 PM

    Tita while reading your article this inspires me, “Sometimes it takes the insight of others to make you realize a truth.” Thank you Tita for sharing this one. Im gonna try the long walk 🙂 Beautiful insights Tita. All Glory to God! 🙂

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