“Wow. I so want to do this,” I thought, watching as two black belts completed a complex technique involving running and leaping through the air. “That looks like so much fun!”
Next thought: “But I’ll never be able to do it.”
I stood and watched as other members of the class worked through the techniques they were learning. Techniques which appeared impossibly complex.
As a child, my dance teacher described me as a “fairy elephant,” I never won at running-races, I was a lousy swimmer and decided early on that I’d just stick to reading and writing, the only things I felt any good at. And now here I was, overweight, in my late 40’s, watching a class of Hap Ki Do students and wishing I could do what they were doing. Knowing I never could.
But it looked like so much fun. Everyone in the class appeared to be enjoying themselves, working out their techniques and helping their classmates with theirs.
“Even if I can only learn a little bit of this, I’ll be happy,” I reasoned.
“I’ll just keep coming and having a go until I either break something or can’t do any more. Maybe I’ll just try to get to Red Belt. I’ll be happy with that.”
In reality I would be ecstatic with that, as my lack of coordination and inability to remember even the most basic techniques saw me doing things back to front and incorrectly in class at nearly every lesson. Gradings were a mortification. But my teachers and classmates were patient, so I kept coming back.
I have learned to do things I never thought I could. I am learning to push myself and to overcome my fears, and aim to attempt a Black Belt grading this year. I feel more confident and happy in myself. Every class, I have fun with one of the most accepting and patient groups of people I have ever met.
And I am happy to say that so far, I haven’t broken anything!