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The following is my final post. Not for this blog of course, because I am just getting started with this. I am referring instead to the weekly text email which for years and years, I have sent out to our martial arts students. Although I am still working with the new owners of the gym, and will be for at least the next couple of months, I have decided to pass along the newsletter “torch” to the new head instructor, Chris. Because the last thing I wrote about in that newsletter related to a subject I have discussed here on this blog, I thought I would share it.

“As this will likely be the final tidbit I will send to you in this newsletter, I thought I would share what I (we!) feel are some of the keys to getting ahead. To do so, I’ll share with you a personal story.

Many people, myself included, think that it’s a bit strange for someone like me to want to live onboard a boat considering that I am virtually a non-swimmer. Although I am not really afraid of the water, I know that whatever ability I have to propel myself through the water, it is rough at best, and I certainly wouldn’t want to count on it to save my life if I had to travel very far. For this reason I decided it would be a good idea if I took some lessons.

So, 6 weeks or so ago, off to the YMCA I went, securing a membership and registering for adult lessons. I showed up on day 1 and with several other adults, not one of which is less than 65 yrs. old, I started training in “stroke improvement.” Because of my martial arts training, I am pretty unaccustomed these days to feeling inept in physical activities. Well, learning to swim was for me, VERY FRUSTRATING! Even though I could understand what I needed to do intellectually, getting my body to do it, with the proper timing, and doing so while relaxed, was (is!) tough! In spite of that frustration, I never missed a lesson. In addition to that, I have made a point of getting to the YMCA to work on my swimming at least 2 other times throughout the week.

How is it working out? Yesterday I swam close to 20 lengths of the pool. Less than 1 month ago I couldn’t even do 1. A week ago I treaded water for 15 minutes straight. 2 weeks before that I could barely do 1 minute without dying!

I don’t write the above to brag about my progress, but rather so that hopefully you can see the parallels between my progress in swimming and your progress in the martial arts!

Here is the ‘Cole’s Notes’ version of the above:

  1. If you don’t know how to do something, take some classes.
  2. No matter how good of an athlete you may be, expect acquiring your new skills to be a bit frustrating at the beginning.
  3. Don’t miss your classes!!!
  4. Set aside a bit of time to practice. You really need to be involved at least 3 times per week in some capacity.
  5. Try to relax.
  6. Be patient, believe and the progress will come!

That’s it boys and girls. It’s all common sense. If you want to make progress, in any skill, follow the above steps.”

Rebecca, after winning the first ever female King of the Cage fight in Canada, 2003. She definitely knows what it takes to make progress and achieve her goals, which is just one of many reasons why I admire her. 🙂


  1. congratulations on swimming -bring your swimsuit to Ottawa, I think there is a pool in the hotel and we can test your ability! lol

  2. Mike great blog, job done well. Thanks for providing such a good home for Katanaand taking her on new adventures.

    All the very best to you and Rebecca for the holidays and in 2010
    Fair winds
    Dave & Jackie

    • Thank YOU for being so helpful to us. Without you two we would have been lost!!!

      Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Looking forward to sailing along side you in your new cat next year!

  3. Well that did it! Now I will not be able to allow Holly to read your blog, as when she comes across the picture and info that Rebecca is a champion cage fighter, knowing my fitness-freak girl she will want trained to compete! Wow-what an accomplishment, both your swimming achievements (no small feat at mid-life) and your fitness/fighting ones! You both continue to amaze us!

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