White Belt

As I waited for my ride tonight after kickboxing, I watched the white belt class.  It has been nearly 5 years since I stood where they did tonight and I remember it very clearly.  My journey to SKF Kickboxing was part of a personal development course.  The course didn’t include kickboxing specifically but rather it included 4 components: Emotional, Spiritual, Mental and Physical goals.  Goals that we would choose ourselves, something to challenge ourselves, step outside the box.

At the time, I was an avid runner.  That was my sport.  I was so devoted to running that when my family moved from Burnaby to North Vancouver, I would drive an hour to Coquitlam at least twice a week so I could run with my group (affectionately known as “The Fruitloops”).  I had run distances from 5 km up to the marathon (42.2 km) and had numerous half and full marathons under my belt.

When it came time to declare our goals for the personal development course, I stated that I was going to prepare for another marathon.  Marathon training takes months of building up the distance, it takes dedication and a touch of insanity to put your body through the training to be able to complete the distance. 

The instructor looked at me and smiled.  “But that is something you already do. That won’t really put you out of your comfort zone.  Think of something that would be more of a challenge for YOU!”  I stared blankly at her.  Running was a part of me, something that I felt I would do for the rest of my life.  I strongly felt that training for another marathon would be a challenge.  I relented though to her insisting I needed to find something else.

Then she asked me if I had ever considered martial arts.  I knew a girl in elementary school who did Taekwondo and I remember her giving a presentation one day at school.  I loved watching her perform her jumps and kicks but being painfully shy, I didn’t think I could ever do it but here I was being challenged to give it a try.

I agreed to look into it and I set my challenge to “Take 2 introductory classes at a martial arts school”. Simple enough right!?!?  As I wrote the challenge down, I knew what was going to happen.  I knew that by looking into joining a local school that I would probably get hooked on it.  I was eager to fit into a group (who isn’t) and I had seen the advertising for the school in the newspaper.  The advertising gave the sense that this was a place where everyone belongs.  So, I made the call….

I met with an instructor the next day and well, the rest is history really.  I have found a home at the school, every person there has become a member of an extended family.  Like brothers and sisters, we support, push and sometimes harass each other but we all know that if called upon, every one of us would be there in a heartbeat.

So tonight, I write about my journey to my white belt.  My journey to a place that I couldn’t imagine not having, a family I would be lost without.  I wonder if the current white belt students feel the same.  I wonder if they already have the same sense of family with their classmates.  I wonder if they know that sometimes it’s going to hurt mentally and physically and sometime it’s going to be hard to muster up the energy to get to class.  I hope they know that if they stick with their training, they will gain courage, motivation and be a part of something incredibly special.

Thank you to my Senseis. Each of you have taught me to dig deeper than I ever thought I could, to be humble when I fly too high and to believe that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to.


Kandice LeafComment