Winter Warriors, can you believe this is the last week? That went by so fast. For this final challenge, we will be focusing on the ‘y’ part of SHASy which represents Your Rose. And, appropriately, this challenge is more up to you than the previous challenges.
In the introductory article to this year’s Winter Warrior Challenge, I wrote that these challenges would be a great opportunity for you to own your fencing journey- that the weekly challenges would be designed to be flexible to meet your needs within a SHASy framework, and that they would help you on your Swordsman journey both on and off the field. This weeks’ challenge is the culmination of that statement. It can be a mental or physical challenge, or both. It depends on how you want to own your journey.
In our company, when you’ve earned the rank of Swordsman, you’re granted the right to wear the Company Uniform, the Black Tabard. Tabards represent unity, camaraderie, and fellowship. They unite us with all the Swordsman who came before us, and those who will come after. On each tabard, there is a rose prominently displayed upon the left shoulder, over the heart. That rose represents something truly unique to the Swordsman wearing it. It represents their values, what they are personally willing to stand and fight for, and what they are willing to live for. It is positioned over our hearts as a reminder to us that these values are vitally important to who we are.
I have recently added a quote to my inspiration wall:
You need to know
Why you want to do
What you what you’re trying to do
So That you have a reason not to quit.
Our Rose is Why we are trying to do what we are doing. Our Rose is our reason not to quit. I very recently had an experience where I was ready to quit something very important to me. I was ready to walk away forever. I talked with most of my life mentors about it, and I got some very good advice. (By the way I highly recommend life mentors, they are awesome!) I took several weeks to think about my situation and was still conflicted. Until I remembered my Rose. Our Rose isn’t just a weekend, fencing field thing. It is on and off the field, near and dear to our hearts, all the time.
Weighing my situation against my Rose, I felt I needed to persevere. My Rose stands for Honor. Specifically the part that relates to the rightness of a thing. I state the meaning of my Rose like this: Take the time it takes to do things right, then do things right, at the right time, for the right reason, so that I am of use and value. I don’t think of it as doing it for my Honor. But for Honor’s sake. When I reflected on this I knew what I had to do. I had committed to a course of action and my Rose demanded of me that I take the time it takes to do it right. I found my reason not to quit.
As we are getting ready to start this new season in a week from today, take a meaningful amount of time to contemplate, perhaps meditate, on your Rose. You don’t have to be a Swordsman to do this; you can do it even in the training program. It’s good to think about it early. If you’re already a Swordsman, this is a good time to review what your Rose means to you. I really don’t think you can do that enough.
In the previous challenges we’ve directed you to website resources, articles, videos, journals, mind maps, and other things. This week determine what resources you will use and acquaint yourself with your Rose more deeply. Maybe that means reading about what the Rose means in various articles on our website. Maybe that looks like a mind map, or a journal entry, or your own website article. Perhaps you have someone you can talk to about it. Maybe there is something physical you can do that fits with your Rose’s meaning. (I personally take the time to put my grocery cart away correctly every time so that I add value to society around me, which may seem ridiculous, but even this small way of living my Rose is meaningful to me.) If you don’t have a meaning for your Rose yet, contemplate, meditate, and maybe write about what you can do to find one.
Your Rose is the heart of your fencing journey. Your Rose is Why you are doing all this. Your Rose is your reason not to quit. Having this challenge right at the beginning of a new season will help you keep your season in perspective. And, it will help you stay motivated throughout the year. This is your journey, how will you own it?
Thank you for participating. You’re amazing. I so look forward to seeing you all in a week. I believe in you Winter Warriors! Shaky tail!