The Need To Teach

December 03, 2002

It appears that my continuing struggle with the decision whether or not to return to active workouts in karate really stem from a need to teach. Over the holiday weekend, Michele and I had several long discussions, one of them centered on my desire to help people around me.

I have always had an insatiable curiosity about the world around me. I love learning how things work, and I get great satisfaction from explaining my understanding to others. I have always been able to digest seemingly disparate chunks of information and return meaningful, coherent combinations to others.

When I was instructing at the dojo I was able to find the words and examples to reach nearly everyone I taught. Each person responded to different stimuli, and the thrill for me was discovering what made them tick so I could present data in a meaningful way. Since I have stopped actively working out I feel a sense of loss. The talk this past weekend helped me to see clearly for the first time what the true reason was for this feeling of loss. It isn't that I miss the physical contact and interaction with my fellow dojo mates; rather I miss the teaching aspect of my tenure there.

I no longer need the physical challenge full-time karate workouts represent. I know from past experience that unless you are willing to give 100% to the endeavor you will end up hurt. My heart just isn't in the physicalness of karate anymore. I've learned the lessons that kicking, punching, and blocking hold for me. What I do need is the mental, emotional, and spiritual challenge of teaching. Finding the way inside myself to reach people around me has always uncovered new truths, and spurred growth.

In the weeks to come I need to explore different avenues of teaching to find one that will meet my needs. I need a situation that will allow me to explore myself, and grow.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.