I do not believe I would have had the courage or desire to try any Martial Arts competition had it not happen to fall on Joel's birthday a year after he had passed. There is a collateral beauty in the pain we go through with trauma that I don't feel is talked about enough.
I was so broken inside = What could I possibly have to lose??
I'm embarrassed to even say this, but I felt so old at the time to be trying something new (at 23). I think as we grow up we forget how tough everything is at that age. It's like you finish high school and think, "well this is who I am, and it sucks" - Completely unaware of your ability to change everything. That's how it felt for me anyways.
I often reread old poems I wrote in my teen years and early 20's that helps to remind me how little I understood about my self or the world at that time.
- Everything felt like an absolute
- Every breakup felt like the end of the world
- I always felt like I should be way more ahead in life than where I was
- I was stuck in a click of friends that was all wrong for me, and I was wrong for them
- I was much too worried about pleasing others and had no idea how to love myself
This day changed my life. It was the scariest thing I had ever done. I had never been so nervous that I felt like I was going to throw up for days. I wanted to make up an excuse so badly to change my mind and not go through with it. I will never forget that feeling and how amazing it felt once I faced that fear. One of my favorite things to do is to coach people through their first tournament or fight, because I know how much it will help them grow.