Hello Dear Readers,
When I was a kid, I hated gym class. I believe I’ve written about this before, but the worst part was always when two students were chosen as “captains” and got to pick their teams. Whenever a close friend of mine was captain, I’d get all excited, thinking that for once I wouldn’t be one of the last selected. But, alas, they still left me until the bitter end. I had absolutely no eye-hand coordination back then, and the other kids made fun of the way I ran. (They said I ran like a horse, which I still don’t understand. Aren’t horses good runners?)
Starting at KWest Kickboxing brought back some uncomfortable memories. Students who join the club without friends or spouse in tow have to go up to the front of the room and be matched with a stranger. It wasn’t quite like being picked last for dodge ball, but it brought back some of the same feelings of dread. It was so much nicer when I started making friends and could find my own training partners, and even nicer still when I was the one asked! It always feels good to have someone choose you as their partner for the day. I still consider it an honor to be asked.
One of the conditions of my green prajioud training is that my kru has to select my training partner for every class. He wants to be sure that I am getting matched with people who will really push me past previously-conceived limits. These people, ideally, will be stronger, faster, and better than I am. There’s no such thing as an “easy” class anymore.
This has put me in the strange position of having to say no to people who request to be my partner, just when I’m at the point where people are actually asking me! Thankfully, I can say that it’s up to the kru, and most understand. But it seems so odd to be back at square one when, really, I’m moving forward.
After being paired with one of my club’s original fighters on Monday night, I had an epiphany. I finally understood–really understood–the reason behind my coach’s decree. It’s not just about making me work harder, which is part of it. It’s that when you train with someone who is so far above your skill level, it makes you determined to get better. I admired this person’s incredible technique and power, and now I’m driven to achieve it (or the closest I can possibly come to it). It was inspiring, and he was inspiring.
Working out with friends is fun, and it’s comfortable, to a degree. You know your friends are going to forgive you if you say you’re really sore or tired. They’ll look the other way when you have an off day. But if you want to achieve greatness in any sport, sometimes you have to leave that comfort zone behind and work with someone who’s out of your league. Punch above your weight, so to speak.
You’ll be inspired. Trust me.
How about you, Dear Readers? Have you ever experienced something similar?
PS…if any kids are reading this, and you still get picked last for teams, don’t worry. You have lots of time to have the last laugh, believe me! Wait until you see those team captains fifteen years from now, and who knows where you’ll be then?