It's all about Attitude

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed this week. We changed the schedule at the studio, so Mondays and Tuesdays have become pretty crazy (Tuesday I was at the studio for 13 hours). I spent Wednesday making up for everything I missed the first two days. Today I spent the entire morning at Sam's house wrapping up our final revisions and polishes to the manuscript. It went out this afternoon to our first round of beta readers.

Needless to say, when I arrived at the studio this afternoon, I was pretty overloaded. I did not eat well, so I was feeling a bit off anyway. I started considering skipping Black Belt class. I began to create excuses.

Something happened, though. I can't really pinpoint where it occurred, whether it was a comment someone made, whether it was one of my students, or if it was just me. But somewhere in this hectic afternoon, I realized that it's all about attitude.

I taught three classes this afternoon, and all three of them went great. I had a parent tell me that I am the best teacher she's ever seen. I nailed a difficult kick in Black Belt class. But it really came home during sparring class at the end of the night.

We're prepping for a tournament next week, so we had the full scoring system out and we were doing competitive matches. I was one of the last to fight, and I got to pick my opponent. I looked around the room. I could have picked a lot of different people. But when it came down to it, I knew that I needed to push myself. I picked a black belt of my same rank, a younger guy who weighs probably 50 pounds less than me. He's fast, and he's powerful. Of everyone there, he pushes me the most. He was also on fire tonight.

I got my butt handed to me. He nailed me left and right. Oh, sure, I got some good kicks in, and I worked on my spinning kicks the way I've been training. He's so fast, these don't really work on him. I ended up on the ground at least four times. But each time I popped up, ready to go again. The fight ended when he accidentally kicked me in the small of the back and knocked the wind out of me. But once I got my breath back, I popped right back up, ready to cheer for him for a really great fight.

I was on fire tonight. It didn't display physically--my game was definitely not on tonight. But tonight I had indomitable spirit. I pressed on through hard things, and I was happy about it. It wasn't fake or forced. Each time I fell, each time it was hard, I smiled and pressed on. By the end of the night, I was brimming with triumph. Not because of a fight won or lost, but because I had triumphed a mental game.

Taekwondo is only one part of my life. We all have things that are challenging that we have to work through. We all have things that get us down. But friends, it's all about attitude. That is how we triumph.

I'm going to kick butt next week. ;)