Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

An unfortunate fact of life is that not all progress is forward moving.  At some point, all of us realize that we took a wrong turn somewhere and have to backtrack.  For a period of time, we can be in a state of regression until we reach the turnaround point and begin moving forward again.

It is frustrating to feel like you are moving backwards and losing ground, but it can be even more frustrating to stagnate due to a limitation.  A prime example of this would be Tiger Woods in 2004 retraining his golf swing after having been a dominant golfer.  He intentionally ditched his old swing which had previously won him several tournaments and temporarily dropped his game performance.  In the end, his retrained swing allowed him to return to dominant form.  Another example would be Apple’s introduction of Mac OS X.  When their new operating system first came out, it was universally panned since it felt like an unfinished product and broke compatibility with the large collection of legacy software.  But anyone looking back on the history of Macs can see that Mac OS 9 was a dead end street.  Apple made the right move to take a step back into software turmoil so that their platform could become more modern and relevant.

In a similar fashion, training is not a one way street.  While most progress is forward moving, there will be times of stagnation and retrogression.  It’s happened to me many times.  Misunderstanding or incomplete understanding of concepts has forced me to return to square one and build back up.  I have had to do this with my stance and my south energy in particular (and sadly, they’re still probably not completely correct).  Taking the steps back to the fundamentals has helped me push a little further from where I was before.  It can be frustrating at times taking backtracking detours, but at least the net progress is steady and forward moving.