And what happened next…
Stepping off the sidelines where I’d sat for five years watching my son do Taekwondo, and out onto the floor as a student was one of the MOST terrifying things I’ve ever done.
I had three main fears.
Fear Number 1: Look like a complete GOOSE in front of our club’s Master.
Fear Number 2: Look like a goose in front of the other students.
Fear Number 3: (Weird when I think about it now but at the time the most terrifying of all) Look like a goose in front of the other parents I had previously been sitting with on the sidelines.
Not very long into my journey of taking up Taekwondo at age 40, yep! It happened.
I went waaaaaay beyond GOOSE. And: It was BRUTAL!!!
I was attempting to get a pesky turning kick up to head height one Tuesday afternoon, but as my kicking leg went up, my supporting leg slipped out from under me.
Both legs flew up into the air, shortly followed by the rest of me and then….THWACK!
Full. Body. Slam. RIGHT in front of my instructor. Just. Perfect.
Quick! Get up! I thought to myself. Act natural. Nothing to see here folks!
My body said: “Ummmmm, No!”.
I. COULD. NOT. MOVE.
The fall had completely taken the wind out of me and the big CRACK I heard in my neck as I went down had me at least a little bit worried.
I felt SO dizzy. Did I hit my head? I hadn’t thought so.
The whole class gathered round. I limped back to the sidelines with ice packs.
The next day I felt like I had been in a car accident. Absolutely EVERYTHING hurt but nothing more so than my pride.
My god! I had never felt SO embarrassed in all my life!
“What are you even doing?” I thought to myself.
“Knew I wasn’t cut out for this. You look ridiculous.”
And on it went. For maybe the next 24 hours or so.
Until, encouraged by the multiple text messages of support and well wishes I received (even a card and chocolates, Thank you beautiful Mel!), I thought some more about why I had started.
Once I was TRULY honest with myself, I knew I didn’t want to just give in. I REALLY did want to persevere and master that bloodey turning kick…and more!
In fact, I was actually kinda loving this whole Taekwondo caper. Who knew?
A quote I found really helped: “Fall down Seven times, stand up Eight”.
So back to training I went two days after my fall with my tail between my legs.
And thank goodness I did! I was overwhelmed by the kindness and encouragement of the other members who (to my astonishment) really couldn’t see what the big deal was.
“Pffffft. All just part of it” and “I’ve done much worse than that” and “you’ll be right”.
It was like I had FINALLY turned up to the party.
Later that night I was a bit mystified. Soooooo ALL my WORST fears about starting Taekwondo have been realised aaaaaaand it doesn’t even matter?
How unbelievably BRILLIANT!!!
From that moment on I was able to just sweep all my reservations aside and get on with training.
And when that next little bit of white tape was added to my belt, the achievement felt that much sweeter because of what I’d overcome to get there.