It is with embarrassment that I have to own up to this. I’m discovering my latent “green thumb”, so have been working out in the garden tending the patch which is a little bigger than a postage stamp, but by no means an organic mecca. Must say though, since I have begun tilling my own soil and I can really notice the quality and taste of the food.

So there I was, digging manure and spreading fertiliser, preparing the ground for some lettuce, broccoli and carrots, my mind really just focusing on the task at hand. Finishing off, I neatly stacked my tools against the side of the shed and went and filled my watering can, just doing the finishing touches.As I walked back around to the freshly finished garden, something smashed me right in the side of the head…bang, completely king hit, I never saw it coming. As I dropped to one knee, my first thoughts were…”what or who  hit me”?

I went straight into defensive mode, quickly looking around the vicinity for someone that may have hooked me by surprise or even thrown something at me. But the back yard was dead quiet, the only sound was me groaning as I quickly realised what had blind sided me. I stepped on the end of the rack and propelled the handle into the side of my head.

Even after 30 years of martial arts training I was humbled by falling victim to a painful moment’s lapse in concentration. It quickly served to remind me that even with all the training in the world it takes constant practise and self discipline to maintain the skills I have trained long and hard to gain. But all the skills that you have are useless if you do not practise them with mindfulness. That moment’s lapse in concentration this time cost me a lump on the head. The power of the mind is strong and can quickly distract you from what it is that you are doing. By improving your relationship with the present moment and giving attention to what exactly is needed at any particular time you can improve your chances of not bring distracted by your thoughts and falling victim to a gardening rake or worse.


  1. Robin Dickinson on August 17, 2009 at 8:29 am


    Humbled by a rake. An excellent demonstration of walking the talk – and living to tell the tale!

    Well done,


    • andy on August 18, 2009 at 4:10 am

      Hey Rob,

      Thanks for the feedback. I love what you wrote on your blog: A talented persons guide to business failure. Makes sense.


      • Robin Dickinson on August 18, 2009 at 6:07 am

        Thanks, Andy. I’ve learned a lot from listening to you!


  2. Richard Holdstock ~ Sensei on August 18, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Hmmm ~ Andy you just may have devised the ultimate training device for Rapid Reaction ~ Rapid Response training skills & drills.

    Best Wishes
    Goju Ryu Bushido Karate Academy
    Blacktown City

    • andy on August 18, 2009 at 4:07 am

      Thanks Richard, great comment and nice to hear from you,


  3. Robin Dosoruth on August 18, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    He he he he. 🙂

    • andy on August 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Rob, yes I got a really good laugh out of it when I realised what had happened. My initial thoughts were: that would have been really funny to see>>

  4. Jack Triantos on August 19, 2009 at 12:34 am

    I’m sure that something similar has happened to all of us, at some point in our lives.

    Sorry, but I had to smile.



  5. andy on August 19, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Thanks for the comment Jack, it really was quite funny…Andy

  6. Selma on October 10, 2009 at 9:49 am

    pfft…, hahahahaha!


    The most important part in training perhaps isn’t developing neuromuscular response (to be all technical) or increasing our capacity to concentrate and be present, but rather to become aware of the immense life present beyond ourselves. There is a saying that the point of education is to let you know how much you don’t know. Training will never allow us to be in full control over everything that happens to us. It will however enlighten us of the vastness of the unknown that lies before us, so that we can be honored and excited to be a part of it all.


  7. Reuben on March 27, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I have done the same thing, many a times. And every time I tell myself it wont happen again, so far 2 years and counting.

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