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In the Midst of Challenge

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"You're like...a machine!" blurted one of my co-workers at the retirement luncheon yesterday. She had just invited me out for some wine with a group of our teachers, and I had to decline because of my black belt test.

"Oh, you're getting your black belt tonight? What do you have to do?"

So I told her about the run, the full-contact sparring, the rounds of kicks and punches on the bags, the forms and definitions, being ready for anything the instructors may ask you to do... This prompted her machine comment.

The funny thing is, I didn't feel like a machine. I felt like a nervous 38-year-old who had minutes earlier bid farewell to a batch of 8th graders, was getting ready to deliver a retirement speech in front of the entire district (I dislike public speaking!), and was inwardly freaking out about the evening ahead of me at the dojang.

Yet when I heard that comment, I got some perspective. After all, I volunteered to give the retirement speech -- even though I am shy in front of crowds. I willingly signed up to test this month -- even though I knew I would be too busy during the last few weeks of the school year to prepare like I have in the past. So why did I do it?

I appreciate a good challenge. I want to do well. I want to push myself and see how far I can go. I don't need to be perfect, but I agree with Vince Lombardi: "If we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

I'm about to head back for Day 2 of the test. This is the easier day: just a few forms, some defensive techniques, breaking boards. I will attempt for the second time to break a brick although I know I might not be able to break it. (Yes, I know, you're supposed to say "Of course I'll break it!" -- but I'm comfortable with the other outcome.) My mind is a blue sky right now, and I will be ready to rise to whatever challenge comes my way this afternoon.

Enjoy your Saturday, Sparkers!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1739 days ago
    I love that quote.

    You are doing so great. Always setting a new challenge in front of yourself is a good way to stay motivated. I am learning that myself. Good look on getting that black belt. The blue sky will allow you to soar. Fly high sister. emoticon

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    1739 days ago
    You are always up for the challenge and are willing to step out of your comfort zone. This has pushed you to greater heights. It's not always comfortable but it's the only way to accomplish amazing things and learn a lot about ourselves along the way. You are always an inspiration to me. Well done! Wishing you another good round on Day 2!
    1740 days ago
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I am bummed I haven't been able to go back to class and that I'll miss today because we have 5 things scheduled in one day but I know you'll do GREAT today! I'm so proud of you! I see the ortho on Monday and I'm going to ask him when I can go back to TKD. :) Have a GREAT day!
    1740 days ago
    WOW! I have to agree with your co-worker! I am impressed, and in awe of your ability to want to go after your black belt at the END of the school year. I know that by year-end of the school year, I am a lazy, just get it over with, kind of mess, that longs for just one day to sleep in past 4:30. The end of school year also brings the start of gardening season, and just the thought of purposely scheduling anything extra to do, would put me over the edge. Major kudos for staying on track, staying motivated, and staying busy when it is just as easy to want to just STAY in bed!
    1740 days ago
    "If we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

    You are doing it. Congratulations on taking on new challenges!

    Please let us know how the test goes.
    1740 days ago
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