Last Thursday night in Kung Fu, Sifu had us start out with a few rolls. Although it hasn’t been that long ago that I secretly dreaded when he would drag the mat out to the center of the classroom, now I don’t mind it at all. Believe it or not, I can do that roll and wake up the next morning with no aches or pains in my neck. That’s progress.
After we rolled a dozen times or so, we learned a jumping, block kick. Maybe it wasn’t called that at all – it may have been a “jump, block while you turn your body 180 degrees in the air kick”. It doesn’t matter – I couldn’t do it.
All the boys laughed and said, “But you’re a runner and you can’t do this?!” Are you kidding me? What on God’s green earth does running have to do with being able to jump, kick and turn mid-air like a monkey?
When my marathon training took me to that first 16-mile run, I was so nervous I stood at the front door in a panic. I told my husband, “I’m just so afraid.” Of course, he gave me a kiss and shoved me out the door saying, “You’ll be fine.”
The same feeling was there on the starting line of the first marathon, and when I got to the first big hill on my bike.
Wouldn’t you think as a mature adult you could convince yourself there’s nothing to be afraid of in life? Even if you don’t succeed the first time, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever succeed at that new something. But this fear and uncertainty seems to be a natural reaction.
I read an article this morning from Coach Joe English where he talks about runners who are cowards. Maybe that’s the lesson for us – you may be afraid to try something new but don’t let your fear prevent you from at least trying.
This week’s schedule includes a 60-90 minute bike ride for cross training today, two 3-mile runs, two 5-mile runs and a 3/1 long run of 11 miles on Sunday. And for the next two days, I’ll be in the garage with my back towards the punching bag, lifting my body up and around, left leg bent into a block, hands guarding my head, right leg throwing a big deadly kick to that bag while the momentum of the kick turns me full circle and I land in a solid stance back where I started. Oh boy.