Let’s just say I came to a crossroads today. I really wasn’t feeling well, completely exhausted, and wracked with pain from head to toe. I knew that I had three taekwondo classes this evening and I seriously considered backing out for the day. No one would blame me for doing so under the circumstances anyway.

But then I sat there and thought, “Missing classes doesn’t make State Champions.” “How much do you actually want to earn your black belt?” “Tonight’s your swat night and you know that the kids and parents know when you’re not there.” “Missing SWAT classes never made good Level 1 instructors.”

“But everything hurts. I’m tired. I’m don’t feel well.” So on and so forth.

I’d seen this picture a couple of hours before class and I was thinking about it as I dragged myself to taekwondo. “This is isn’t going to be pretty”, I thought to myself. The first class was great, no complaints there. Within the first 5 minutes of my second class, everything hit me at once and it was tough. The first time I did my form it was a mess. I couldn’t keep my balance on the kicks to save myself. Eventually, that got better as the class went on and I thought I was out of the woods. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I did my weapons form and it turned out okay; definitely not up to Meghan Bayer standards, but it was okay.

The third class, my leadership class. I’m thinking to myself, “I can do it, I’ll get through this.” Then I heard four words I usually don’t mind, but tonight I was not feeling it. “Get your gear on.” Let’s just say it is not possible for me to internally groan any louder than I did then. As I stood facing my first opponent for sparring, I was just praying to survive the match. Well, I survived that match, and the next one, and the next one, until I had beaten all the boys in my class.

This was the turning point. I showed myself the hard way that I can do anything even I’m almost certain it may do me in. Sparring is not my thing. I am much better at forms and weapons than sparring, which I think was part of why I was a bit shocked. I walked away with bruises, a swollen knee, and subluxed joints to show for it which is very typical for me.

I hope that the road I decided to take tonight will pay off when I’m a black belt and hopefully someday a state champion.

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