This will change you

I have been pondering a statement I heard last night from Coach. Isn’t it funny how someone can say something to you and it sticks around in your head for a while. While watching a class at the gym, Coach says, “This will change you.” Four words and they have blown my mind.

Now, I understand that Coach is looking at this from a different perspective than I am. I have been at my craft for a year and a half. I still wallow in low moments about not getting a technique. I have times when I feel as though my brain is going to explode regarding a new progression. It’s exasperating at times and on other days, everything clicks. Then I remind myself, in the bigger picture, I have ONLY been pursuing my craft for a year and a half. I’ve just started my journey. My Coach is seasoned. He has been on his journey for a decade. A DECADE! He has honestly forgotten more techniques than I know at this point.

It is like comparing events in the life of an adult to that of a child. To my nine year old, a year seems like forever. It’s one-ninth of her life – that’s sizable. To an adult, a year seems to fly by. It’s a small portion of their totality. On the journey in my craft, all year and a half of it, it seems like a lifetime to me. However, I have to remind myself of the decade of learning my Coach has achieved. I should probably listen to the words he says – there is greater depth to them.

So I have been pondering on his words – this will change you. My first reaction was – How is it going to change me? In what way is it going to change me? What is he talking about? And then of course my – I know everything brain – says, “Well of course you are going to change!” “I better change!” “I better get better at this stuff!” “Seriously! I BETTER get BETTER!” Ok, so there may be a little bit of A-type personality in there, but what would you expect from The Wicked Queen.

I went to sleep that evening with the phrase running through my mind – it was in my dreams. I awoke the next morning with a different perspective. I realized that in this brief time in which I have been improving my craft, I have already started changing – little changes. Some are obvious – I’m healthier, more physically fit, I have increased endurance, etc.

With further reflection, I also realized there are a few deeper, personal changes that have already started occurring at this point in my journey too. I am becoming more patient. I know it’s hard to believe that The Wicked Queen and the word patient would be in the same sentence, but alas it is true. My focus is not on the next trophy (stripe or belt). I am seeking grace and fluidity in the application of my technique. I am less focused on the size of a problem (opponent) understanding that my reaction (my technique) is what is important. I am far more resilient than I could have imagined, even under immense pressure. I am getting better at being comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

It became clear to me that morning that the evolution of change which occurs is very personal and very different for each individual. Additionally, these changes will permeate into our lives off the mats as well as in the gym. Furthermore, some changes we won’t even be able to see in ourselves. Our family, friends, coaches, and training partners may see them, but they won’t be evident to ourselves.

I could not have envisioned these changes and I cannot fathom how I will continue to change, but I will. You will too! Embrace it. It is part of the journey.

How have you witnessed changes in the pursuit of your craft?

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