It snowed all through the night. By noon, 12" of snow sat on the ground. The snow glistened and the wind blew serpents of slow through the streets as they piled billowing towers of drifted snow on the sides of the road.
Looking at the snow, I asked myself, "How would a karate master like Funakoshi view this blizzard?" The answer shot quickly into mind - they'd view it as a training opportunity.
I armed my myself with a shovel and took my first shovel full of snow. It occurred to me that a true karateka (karate student)would view the shovel as a possible weapon. Each thrust (tsuki) with the shovel was like practicing a thrust with the bo/ staff - even better yet with resistance.
I remembered to work my stance and use my legs by stinking into a sochin dachi(rooted stance) in coordination with each stoke of the shovel. In rhythm with tossing the snow on the mounting pile, I would push of the back leg and rotate my hips to generate the force of the throw. I thought of our martial arts concept of Kime or concentration of power. Kime happens when our stance - Sochin dachi, our technique - throwing the snow, and our breath come together at the end to execute the perfect movement.
As I worked on my kime and focused on achieving the perfect technique, I felt myself slip in the zone and effortless working toward the goal of clearing the driveway. As I completed the job, I slipped into a reverie of my old training when we would stand in lines throwing a hundred punches. I could almost hear the ichi, ni, san... of my Sensei counting as I pumped out each rep until I finished the job.