Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Never give up.... Never Surrender

You're never too old to try something new.

So say those who are in shape, coordinated and have no shame what-so-ever when it comes to embarrassing oneself.

My overachiever husband, who excels at anything and everything he tries is a 2nd degree black belt in traditional Japanese Karate.

He has a certain sense of style and perfection that he strives for in all the things that he does so he makes it all look so easy.

For years I have wanted to join him at the dojo, but there have always been parental duties that I had to attend to at the times he trained.

My kids have all done karate, some quitting after a few years, others going all the way to black belt. Jeffrey and Katherine train twice a week and Alex goes on Saturday mornings.

Currently Jeff trains 5 days a week and teaches several of those days.

Last week he came home and announced that he would be teaching a beginners class at 9 AM Mondays and Wednesdays and I would finally get my wish to learn the art of self defense.


I was going to get my chance to show everyone how easily and efficiently I could learn something new.

People would look at me in awe.

"You've never done this before?"

"That's amazing how quickly you learn and with such skill and perfection, too."

"You're a complete natural."

Yes, I was going to take the karate world by storm. I would get my black belt faster than anyone who came before me and I would be a force to be reckoned with.

I should have gotten a clue as to how my introduction into the world of marital arts was going to go when I discovered my Gi pants wouldn't stay up as I walked.

And the fact that Jeff had to keep saying  "No, your OTHER left hand..... the other one.... the one that's not your right...."

And then today I got sent to the corner to practice blocking and punching while my classmate got to move on to learn a new kicking routine.

Clearly my brain was writing checks that my body couldn't cash. I mean I TRIED to cash them... but they bounced. The truth is that the 3 year old pee-wees look better at this than I do.

But I am determined to use this as a learning experience. I will not quit no matter how embarrassing it is or how much I look like a fish trying to ride a bike. I have usually given up on things in the past that required too much time in the "newbie" phase. If I couldn't do it correctly right off the bat (and look good doing so), then I was through.

I know that's not how you go about learning and growing. If I only work on the things that I am good at from the start than I guess I won't be working on many new things.

Jeff has a shirt with a saying that suddenly has much more depth of meaning than when I first read it:

A black belt is white belt that never gives up.

And I promise to keep saying that as I fall over while trying kick and whack myself in the face while trying to block. It doesn't matter what I look like doing it, as long as I just keep doing it.

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