On October 19th, my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. As many of us have experienced, the economy has limited our celebratory spending. However, I was lucky enough to find a rose gold necklace, that I could afford, to give her for the occasion. I was in the middle of trying to hide it from her and give it to her a bit later at dinner, when she walked out of the bathroom and caught me with my hands trying to close the box and move it out of sight. She immediately looked surprised and sadly said that she had not gotten anything for me. I bought a new cell phone 2 days earlier and said that she did in fact give me something. What she had given me, was not the cell phone, but much more. She has been my constant throughout all that we have experienced over the last 20 years. Of course I can make the transition from anything, into martial arts. I can always bridge any experience with martial arts. I started in judo when I was 10 and then I went right into boxing, kick boxing and wrestling. This was all fighting, but not really martial arts. But as a martial artist, I have been able to get so much more than just the obvious. As an instructor there is an added dimension. People see you differently, they expect more from you, they look at you with different eyes. As a student and/or an instructor, what motivates you? I have a special gift. I can look at someone, find what they have inside of them, show it to them and then watch them grow. I love to watch people transform and grow as martial artists and as people. As much as I enjoy being an instructor, I enjoy being a student even more. I never tire of repeated attempts at making things better. What really motivates me is not when everything makes sense and it all falls in line with what should come next. What motivates me is when I ask myself, "What have I gotten myself into?", when my back is against the wall, when I have to dig myself out, when everything is going wrong, when I feel that I have nothing else inside. That is when I can find what I am really made of. That is when I can apply the problem solving skills that I tell my students that I am helping them to find. That is when I can get to places that I did not even know existed. Sometimes, you just have to feel a little uncomfortable so that you do not become complacent and miss finding out about things that until recently, you did not know existed. Martial arts does that for me and my wife does that for me as well. And you know what? I like it that way. So go ahead, be uncomfortable. It might just become your favorite state of being. Alan Trueba, Alan Trueba Martial Arts, 407-718-3672.