“Olympic athletes do not train to be in top shape, or to appear to be so. They train for the specific purpose of excelling in their event(s) of choice.”
Do you train meaningfully, or do you train with meaning? Small difference, huge difference, contingent on what these terms mean to you. There is no right or wrong label to be placed on the final choices made, or the results perceived. The great benefit of making personal choices, is that you need not justify them to anyone else.
Training meaningfully allows the student to focus, not on being meaningful, but on the fundamentals that then bring their own brands of meaning to the training, and its ultimate results. In this way, the added benefits of internalized commitment, effective muscle memory, and of proven habits honed from endless hours of effort, will naturally flow from those related movements, and be authenticated in the zanshin of the moment. No need to spend extra focus or narrow intent on making the training more meaningful, as the appropriate meanings are already included. Perhaps this approach may be called an “inclusive” method of training, where there is a clear and fundamental acceptance of whatever may finally result from the prolonged and fully committed effort. It is all good, being part of the mix of a balanced way of thinking, and of allowing of all components of one’s vision, and of one’s daily programming.
To train with meaning, however, requires a different set of commitments and mind sets, that allow for pursuing specific goals of training. Perhaps one truly wants to improve their ukemi to the extent of being unconcerned with who the nage is, or of any hidden agenda he may have. Or one may engage in a brutally intense regimen of conditioning, to outlast anyone else in a randori or marathon training experience. Olympic athletes, for example, do not train to be in top shape, or to appear to be so. They train for the specific purpose of excelling in their event(s) of choice, to the exclusion of just about any other reason for training. It is the purpose of being judged the best by others that counts for them, and not necessarily what they truly want for themselves, even after the glamour of the games is long ago finished and tarnished. Perhaps this approach may be called an “exclusive” method of training, where little else matters other than the specific goals defined and pursued. In the end, all effort is either justified and affirmed, or deemed unrealized and, unfortunately, an unmitigated failure and disaster, regardless of any other benefits that may have spun off from the amazing efforts and performances of the chase. All or nothing is this mind set.