When it comes to sports, apart from team sports like netball and hockey, I was never any good. I had no confidence in myself and I just wasn’t really interested. The thought of being out in a cold wet field or on hot day in stifling heat, doing any form of excercise was a big no no. I remember the days that we would have to do cross country, which involved running from one high school to another. It was pure torture. Walking through most of it, with the teacher shouting beside you to keep running. Now after doing some running as an adult, I realise that the way they went about it was all wrong. We were never taught how to run, just told to do it. Even during atheletics in the 100m, I would collapse on the floor feining some sort of death, while the girl with asthma would pass me and I’d curse her arse. 🙂
Then after the death of my dad, I decided that I needed to change my life in alot of ways. My mum had died at forty five through alot of bad lifestyle choices and my dad at sixty. When your parents dies so young, it brings your own mortality to the forefront, so I choose to do everything in my power to extend my own lifespan. Yes, I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, but at least I can say I did what I could.
About a eight or nine months ago a friend of mine talked me into taking up karate and wouldn’t put up with the ‘I’m too fat and unfit’ excuse. I walked into the Dojo and felt totally lost. We started doing katas and the feeling of being overwhelmed just exemplified, but my Sensei, pushed and encouraged. I continued going to classes and slowly began to improve and settle into each class. I moved up the grading so that now I’m on my orange belt. #TeamOrange. Then just before christmas, I decided to do something that would have had me running for the hills and that was to compete. I mean go against others and try and win. What am I thinking? But I signed up and trained.
After picking my Kata, Siafa, I worked week after week to get it right. For those who don’t know this is an example of the Kata.
The kumite (Sparring) was just practise and down to the day with the opponant, so I watched videos, learned from the higher grades and concentrated on my Kata. I would be on my own doing this in front of a crowd and judges. Could I have put myself under any more pressure. Then with a week to go, the Saifa wasn’t quite working and had a last minuite change to do First Kata.
The day of the tournment we walked into the sports hall and the nerves hit. I wasn’t on until 12 and so had plenty of time to warm up and practise. I watched others and supported those from my Dojo who were competing and then it was my time.
Standing there and waiting to go on, I felt like this was it. I’d trained so there was no reason why I couldn’t do this. I bowed in and went for it. There was very little time to process what I’d done before it was time to do the Kumite. I can honestly say that it was the most fun I’d had. It also showed me that I was capable of anything, I just needed to beleive it.
I walked away with double silver and I walked away very proud or myself.
I call my karate comrades my family and they are. From feeling so isoloted and out of it walking into the Dojo for the first time. I’ve made some great friends and adopted more sons and daughters. We all support one another. I love them a great deal and ontop of that Sensei Nix who has spent so much time working with me and making sure I’m the best I can be. So for the first time in my life, I’ve won something sporty and acheived another milestone in my life.