I want to tell you a story about risk and how taking a risk changed my life.
In May of 2014, I was looking for a new way to work out. Up until that point, I had a membership at the local gym, but I wasn’t putting in the effort and frankly, it showed.
As I was looking around for another form of exercise, I passed by a local martial arts school. I must have walked by it hundreds of times, but something stopped me that night. I walked in, asking for more information and the rest is history.
Earlier this evening. I earned my black belt in muy thai kick boxing. Taking a risk for me is never easy. The comfort zone sometimes is a little too comfortable.
“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”-Roy T. Bennett
Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the risk to simply ask for more information was just the first step. There are some risks in my life that I regret taking, this is not one of them.
I encourage my readers to take a risk, at least once in a while. You never know where the risk will lead.
Life is sometimes about taking chances. We don’t know what the outcome will be, but we still take the chance anyway.
Two years ago, I took a chance. I took my first Muy Thai Kick Boxing class.
I’m not normally one who takes risks so easily. I’m usually the person who looks at all of the options and carefully weighs the pro’s and con’s before making a decision.
I took a chance when I took that first class. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Two years later, the results are astounding. My weight is down to a number (despite my love of carbs) I have not seen for several years. I feel better, I look better and my social circle has grown exponentially.
It’s not easy to take a chance. The “what if’s” are ever present. It’s easy to stay with the status quo. But sometimes we have to take risks. The results may not be what we wanted right away, but they may in the end produce amazing results.
Nearly two years ago, I had reached a crossroads in my life when it came to my fitness.
I had been in and out of local gyms for a few years. While I did regularly go to the gym, I was not putting in the effort and it showed.
A local martial school that teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muy Thai Kick Boxing was offering a deal. Anyone who was interested in their classes, could, for a small fee take a one on one introductory class with one of the instructors. If the potential student did not feel that the school was a good fit, they could walk away. But if the potential student felt that it was a good fit, they could take more classes and determine if this martial arts school was something they wanted to join.
That was me in May of 2013. I came in, just looking for a new way to work out. The transformation is incredible. I was a size 14 when I started taking classes. I am now a size 6. I have made friends, gained a huge amount of confidence and I have learned a very useful skill. Most importantly, I have a life goal that I would have never imagined having two years ago at this time: becoming a black belt in Muy Thai Kick Boxing.
Stepping onto the mat for the first class was intimidating, not to mention being a huge challenge. Even now, when I can predict within a certain degree of how the class will go, it is still a challenge.
The path to black belt is not easy. It is fraught with challenges and potholes. But so is life. But I still attend classes regularly and I still strive to be the best person I can be every day.
Earlier tonight, I received my purple/brown belt. It is a huge accomplishment to have gotten this far. I will keep going until I reach black belt. Life is hard, it sometimes requires us to dig deep and push ourselves when we think we cannot go any farther. The reward may not be a colorful belt, but what we receive in return for the hard work.
Regular readers of my blog know that one of my hobbies is Muy Thai Kickboxing. I’ve been taking classes at my local dojo for nearly 2 years and I’ve been pretty happy there.
After class, the instructors will give a a short talk encouraging the students to continue with the program.
This week’s talk is about beginning something by looking to the end.
In layman’s terms, when we start something, always have the end goal in mind.
I think it makes perfect sense. When something is new, whether it is a job, a relationship or just a new situation, mistakes be made and there will be challenges that have to be overcome. Were going to stumble when starting something new, that’s only natural. But that doesn’t mean that we lose sight of our end goal. It could be starting a new job and having an end goal staying at the job for years, or starting a new relationship and working to make that relationship last or surviving a new situation that has come up.
I am a writer. Like any writer, my goal is to see my work published and earn a living through my work. Ask any writer and they will tell you that their hard drive is full of half started stories and their email is full of rejection letters from editors. Even if the piece I start doesn’t go any where and sits half written on my hard drive (as most of my stories do), but that’s fine. Stephen King and Danielle Steel did not write best selling books overnight. It takes time, we have to learn our craft and keep pushing ourselves to write.
I encourage everyone of you to keep going and keep the end goal in mind. No matter, keep that goal always in the back of your mind and you will reach it, someday.
This week I received my purple belt in Muy Thai Kick Boxing.
I won’t lie when I say that it felt so good to put it on for the first time. It wasn’t easy to get to this point and I know that it won’t be easy to get my next belt, which is purple/brown.
But it is so worth it.
Life is full of challenges. But it’s the challenges that make us stronger.
I’ve been taking Muy Thai Kick Boxing classes since last May. Stepping onto the mat at the beginning of the first class was a challenge. Every class is a challenge.
What kick boxing and the final goal of black belt teaches is that the best way to deal with challenges is to face them head on. Reaching black belt is not easy. It requires, when stepping on the mat, to give everything towards to the goal of black belt, even when it seems impossible. It is the same with off the mat challenges. Whatever our goals are and the challenges that come with reaching that goal, we have to give it everything we’ve got, even when we feel that we cannot.
Keep reaching for that black belt, whatever it may be. We will all get there eventually.