Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lifelong Learning


I feel like I've been positively pummeled by, like, the education fairy. Bruised and battered, I'm nothing if not surrendered and compliant - "mentally available" as my former horse trainer used to say - and desperate for affirmation.

Life takes really abrupt turns. In March, 2007, I began flirting with the idea I could become a pilates instructor. Not because I was driven to teach, but because someone acknowledged I might be good at it. This is Typical Robby. Give me attention, prop me up, and I'm yours forever.

Recognizing, however, this is not a good way to make a decision, I thought about it for six months. I see this as progress. Normally I'm already driving down the highway at 70 mph before I say, "Wow, it's the first time I've ever been to the UK and I've never driven on the opposite side of the road - what should I be doing?"

When I began my training in September, 2007, it was focused exclusively on teaching the essential and intermediate repertoire on the Reformer. Upon conclusion, and further reflection, I recognized the need to be trained on the matwork so as to have a different perspective, additional depth and range, and overall body of knowledge, so I pursued that training in February of 2008. It was fun. I went to Memphis and New Orleans twice and got to meet some really amazing people.

This is an advantage. This is what it's about. Right now I'm somewhat tortured by the burden of passing my certification exam this weekend, but I have to remind myself that even if the outcome isn't favorable I a.) can and will continue to study and take it again and b.) have added an additional chapter to my "content."

Opening a door, seeking an answer regardless of how simple the question seems, continues to reward me. Not in a financial sense of course, but in the sense that I've driven myself to a different place and I've learned from it. I'm learning the value of osmosis. I'm learning to pursue things (and people) not expecting to confirm my preconceived notions or perceptions, but to allow their actions to influence and shape the big picture.

I didn't go into pilates training expecting to be a student. I went in expecting to be a conqueror and achiever. The process hasn't deflated me at all, don't get me wrong, but it's really changed the way I view learning and for that I'm very, very grateful.

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