Today at climbing I was too pooped to accomplish much on the more difficult walls. I did too much in tae kwon do last night.

That’s when Lin suggested I climb the “easy” wall instead.

It’s just another part of training, she said. When you get stuck, persevere. But it’s also okay to take a step back, and go back to what you know.

It made sense. I work just as hard on the “easy” wall, and I can get up and down it quickly, many times. So that’s what I did.

It felt pretty good.  I got a good workout.  It felt like I was keeping my hand in. And it built my confidence back up, too.

Come to think of it, we do this in martial arts.   We always go back to the basics.  There’s always room for improvement.  But it also lets your mind relax and go through the familiar moves.

It’s like meditating.

I worked with a new TKD student last night. We did the first kata over and over again. (It’s all she knows right now.) Nervously, she said, “Aren’t you bored? Do you want to do a different form?”

“Nope,” I replied. “I like this form. I could do it a thousand times and still find ways to improve it. And it centers me.”

It occurs to me that maybe that’s what all these smaller shows this season were about–doing the “easy climb”. Getting ready for these shows had its own challenges: How to simplify my booth so I could get everything in one car load. How to streamline my set-up to accomplish in four hours what normally takes two days.

But everything else was a return to familiar territory. After the last eight years spent doing major shows and wholesale shows, doing website overhauls and contemplating a new PR campaign,it actually felt kinda good to do something I already know how to do.

Try it the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with all your new challenges.

Simply go back to what you already know. Warm up, take it on, succeed.

And see if you’re invigorated to take on that “harder climb” again.