This morning my Master sent me a video breaking down the 540 kick, which I had set a goal to learn this year. No prompting, no explanation, just a video as a little nod to my practice. It was a step-by-step tutorial that built the kick one piece at a time. It didn’t explain the full kick all at once or contain a lengthy description. It was simply one step at a time. I watched the video and mentally filed it away for the next time I was in the dojang.
So this happened on January 18th:https://littleblackbelt.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/img_6038.mov
“Are you excited?”
I want to fall in sparring class.
No, I mean really fall, crash to the ground with a spectacular splat that happens so fast I can do nothing but laugh.
I’ve fallen in sparring class before. I’ve been kicked to the ground by people a lot bigger than me, I’ve gotten my leg so tangled up on someone’s shoulder or chest gear that the easiest thing to do was to just tip backwards, and sometimes I’ve just mis-gauged my distance and fallen down.
As I reflect on what has been a pretty awesome 2019, I’ve realized that literally NOTHING I worried about for the past year has actually happened.
Not my professional worries, not my personal worries, NONE of the small or more outlandish things my often-anxious mind devises to pass the time came to fruition. And I made myself miserable with all the worrying.
Now I feel kind of silly.
I’m writing this at my desk on a quiet, pretty Sunday afternoon while I sip ginger kombucha to ease my perpetually irritated stomach, try not to feel overwhelmed about some assignments my managerial editor has given me for my book, and hope I wake up in time to jump on an 8 AM conference call.
I am pleased to officially announce that I am now a contracted author with She Writes Press*. We are set to publish my memoir Kicking and Screaming: a Memoir of Madness and Martial Arts spring 2021.
“You can’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
I was attending a three-day change management training with about 15 other people from various industries. We had been working on in-class projects and presentations, and one man from a well-known tech company casually said to a classmate as he plugged away at his project, “You can’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”
I am a second degree black belt, but I am not an advanced fighter.
Sparring has never been my forte as a child or as an adult taekwondo practitioner. Sometimes I’ve hated it. Sometimes I’ve looked forward to it. Sometimes I both dread and enjoy it. It has always been a learning experience. I don’t live up to my impossibly high expectations, and of course that sets me up for frustration.
I decided to change my approach to sparring at the dojang I’ve been attending since December of last year.
Last Friday I was helping a coworker set up for a class he was teaching. It was one we had both taught at least ten times in the past and would teach many more times in the future. Before the class started he was jokingly saying to me and my manager that he was nervous.
You have to understand my coworker–he is larger than life, an incredible presenter, a talented singer, and a Toastmasters competitor. Public speaking is not something new or foreign to him.
“Is it stage fright?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “It’s a good kind of nervous. I always get this way before a class because I don’t want it to be stale. I want it to feel like the first time I’m teaching it for this audience.”
Continue reading “Keeping It Fresh…Or, How To Be An Engaging Public Speaker”
In a previous post I announced that I was going to take up classical guitar again with the intention of approaching it as a white belt. I had a restless, nagging urge to do something new and approach it completely unencumbered with the expectation or even hope of competence.
Apparently what I was really searching for was something to help me break a cycle of lifelong perfectionism and self-imposed pressure to perform.
It all started with a lesson in re-stringing a guitar.