I am naturally talented at many things. Being empathetic, being physically strong, I have a ability to see the big picture, I am good at organizing people...but I am not a naturally gifted fighter. I am not someone who can perfectly mimic a new move after seeing it once. I am not a person who can skip practice and maintain dominance. But I love fighting. More than anything. The peace and calm it brings to my soul and the challenge it brings to me physically and mentally is something that I have not found in any other area of life. So I committed myself to getting good at it. I set lofty goals for myself.
Here are some lessons that I have learned over the years, in pursuit of my goals:
People tell you "believe in yourself" and that "hard work pays off". So off you go in pursuit of your goals. But no one tells you just how hard it will be. No one tells you just how many bumps you will run into and challenges you will face.
They say "knock down seven, get up eight" but no one talks about how broken your soul feels after being knocked over that third time, how much confidence is lost, and just how hard it is to "dig deep" and pull yourself up.
No one talks about the nights when you can't sleep. When you feel crazy and like no one believes in you. When you question why you should believe in yourself.
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work". So your work and work and work - and jealously watch as the talented work far less but see far more success. No one warns you about the anger, frustration, and utter hatred that will build up towards them.
No one talks about the camps where you get destroyed. When you question if you should keep doing the sport. When you really want to blow off the next round and next session....but you dig deep and face the next opponent.
They say "surround yourself with those that support you". But no one talks about the weeks when it feels like partners and coaches aren't on in your corner. How hard it is to convince yourself that it is okay- that you are your own best advocate and that they will regret it when you are successful.
No one warns you that other things in life will get in the way. People you love die, work gets stressful, boyfriends leave you, life gets in the way....and despite all this you have to stay focused. How hard it is to maintain composure despite life's distractions.
No one tells you how hard it is to look loved ones in the eye, when they come to watch you perform, and you fail. There is no way to warn you for the sadness, shame, and disappointment that you have in yourself.
"Use the killer instinct". But no one teaches you how to. How to be fierce, confident, and relentless. If this isn't your natural state, no one tells you how to learn it. No one sends you the videos, books, and articles to train your mind. No one explains this can be learned. Because it's assumed that you naturally have it...or you don't.
People will say "just do it like this, it is easy" - but despite your every effort, it won't click. You will feel stupid. You will want to punch them in the face. You will want to punch your partner in the face when they effortlessly figure it out. You will question your skills and ability. Frustration will overtake you.
You must "work with the best to be the best" but no one prepares you for what it feels like to be tossed like a rag-doll for an entire practice by "the best". No one massages your bruised, beaten body as you cope with the fact that you have to work with "the best" all week and are questioning how you will survive.
"Rest and Recover" after an injury. You worry about how much others have grown as you have been resting. You feel distant from your goals. You get antsy and want to rush back despite the injury. You question returning at all. You worry strength will not return. You fear the injury will re-occur. You will be unmotivated to do PT. You fear your skills will be lost.
They say "early bird gets the worm" but no one tells you how hard it is to turn off that alarm at 4:45am so that you can make your 5:30 appointment. No one tells you how tired you will feel and how much you will want to blow it off. No one warns you for the flood of excuses that will enter your thoughts.
"Do what your opponents aren't willing to do". But no one tells you why others aren't doing it. Just how exhausting and painstaking the effort will be. How many tears will be shed and how much your body will scream to stop.
"Winners never quit".
But they question themselves, their training, and their lifestyle...
EVERYONE has challenging days, practices, weeks, mentalities...
But truly the victorious...the real champions.... despite it all, dig deep and despite all the hardships - they never quit on themselves.
I had lots of reasons to not reach my goals:
No matter what your skill...or your goal...know that is going to be extremely hard to reach your goals. Harder than anyone will ever tell you.
And extremely lonely.
But if you believe in yourself & don't quit despite it all...you will be surprised with what you can accomplish.
You will be amazed what you are capable of.
You are stronger than you know.
Believer that everyone is special.