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The Year of Transformation – Courage and the Road to Black Belt

When I started on this journey of a Year of Transformation back at the beginning of 2020 I had no idea how far it would take me.

Initially, I was focused on the changes that would take place from transforming my body. I was mentally prepared to work hard and look different. What I wasn’t prepared for was how different I would feel inside as the end of the year begins to draw near.

In the last month I have done two things I never would have contemplated as possible at the beginning of the year.

One: I have started an even more challenging workout program, one that is kicking my booty six days a week.

Two: I have returned to the practice of a martial art I stopped training in over 16 years ago. This martial art is kicking my booty another three hours a week plus all of the extra time I am spending to catch up after all these years.

Why? Because it’s not just my physical muscles that are bigger these days.

Mentally, after spending a year training at least five days a week and quitting sugar for over a year I have found that not only do I have the courage to do more, I want to do more as well.

I haven’t weighed myself in ages, but I don’t care what the scales say. These days I care more about the fact that I can do lunges and squat kicks and more than six full press ups in a row. I care that I still have a mean side-piercing kick and that I haven’t forgotten everything that I once knew.

In the last post I wrote about the year of transformation I talked about ‘getting tougher‘. That was the last post I wrote for a good long while as I had nothing else in my head except for focus and discipline and changing my mindset. During that time I have changed. I have grown more focused, more motivated, tougher and most of all more courageous. I must have. I mean, who just walks into a unfamiliar Taekwondo (TKD) dojang after 16 years and starts back training without courage.

I was three gradings from black belt when I stopped training. At the beginning of the year if you had suggested that I started training TKD again I would have laughed uproariously. I would have laughed because I was unfit, because I was weak, because I was afraid.

Because of the Year of Transformation I got physically strong, I relearned focus and commitment and rediscovered the will to succeed. I realized that if I didn’t try, I would never know what I could accomplish.

I’m still afraid. I’m afraid of sparring and getting hit in the face, I’m afraid that performing flying techniques will damage my always dodgy back. I’m afraid I will never master self defense.

So what? So I’ll listen harder, practice more, ask more questions, learn more, train more. I will do more of the things I’m afraid of. I will make them strengths instead of weaknesses.

These things that seemed like reasons not to start are now reasons not to stop.

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