The last three years have been rocky for me. My children grew up and left; one to college across the country, and one to the streets as a drug addict. My sister was brutally attacked at nine months pregnant, and to top it off, I gained fifteen pounds. I had always been the person who was in control and suddenly everything was spiraling down, down, down. I sought counseling to deal with my grief over the drugs and was given the best advice on coping, “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.” I find myself repeating this mantra many times a week. So my life went on as I continued to commute to my job, returning home to eat and sleep, and hanging with my husband and dogs. I had given myself time to heal emotionally but was getting restless. I spent many long walks wondering what will be my next chapter. I tried not to create my destiny as I wanted to see what the universe had in store for me. I became a practitioner of patience.
Then one day my husband had business with a man who ran a martial arts studio. He suggested I might be interested in checking it out. I had free time, now that I wasn’t going to school sporting events, hauling kids from one friend to another’s, or organizing girl scout activities. I called him that night and had an appointment the following evening after work. It was impulsive and after the excitement wore off, fear settled in. Really, karate?
I am now into my second year of Tang So Do, a Korean karate discipline. Martial arts is an individual journey and although I may be sparring kids or men with multiple-degree black belts, I will only get what I put into the training. I have a sense of fear at least once a week, even after a year of training. I fear getting punched in the face during a sparring match. Being bonked in the nose or mouth hurts, but I’ve quickly learned to keep my hands up! The two times that I’ve belt tested for a new rank, I was so fearful of failing I had to take off work to spend the day practicing. But the fear hasn’t stopped me. I’m am empowered. I live the three aspects: confidence, discipline, respect. And in this new year I will be adding jujitsu and judo to my training. I have also lost that 15 pounds, which of course, is a great added bonus.
Is there anything you’ve always been curious to try but that has always seemed too “out there” or too far afield from your life? How do you know whether you’ll like something if you’ve never done it? Let 2013 be your year to take on fear, challenge yourself, and live a more enhanced life.