I have been fighting with my martial arts--more importantly, I've been fighting with my head lately. I haven't been to class for several months and am not really going to be heading back any time soon. I've had problems with myself, with comparing myself to the others in my TSD class. I see myself as not as good as them. It's all in my head, I know. I should not compare myself to people around me. They train differently from the way I trained. I didn't learn the Korean in my original class and didn't make a lot of effort to learn it when I was taking classes regularly. I didn't work on my material outside of class and let myself get discouraged when I didn't understand the Korean for specific movements/techniques. That frustration led to more frustration and became a huge snowball. Because of this, I let myself get discouraged. Instead of approaching someone and saying "I want to practice x, y or z", I steamed and stewed and let myself get into a more negative habit than I've ever been in. I didn't listen to myself when I thought "Oh, I can do this!" Instead, I opted NOT to hear my little inner voice, but heard a much louder, more negative one that said "You're terrible. You'll never advance to be anything more than a Cho Dan". I didn't attack that voice and ignore it or beat it back.
I don't feel like I'm comfortable going back to the dojang at present. I had been told by someone that I shouldn't have gone into the dojang as a black belt because my ways were so totally different from theirs. I was told that I should have started over and worked my way back up the ranks to earn my black belt properly. I internalized that, let it sit in my sub conscious and finally succumbed.
I'm going to go back to Tang Soo Do at some point. I don't think my Masters will have me back any time soon. They probably think (here I am projecting what I think they think, most likely not what they really DO think...) that I'm a loser and that I gave up. I don't see it as giving up right now. I'm revamping my focus.
To that extent, I've started taking Tai Chi classes to learn to take things slower, literally. My instructor says that she feels that my Tai Chi training will compliment my Tang Soo Do training. Right now, the first thing I've learned (and probably the most important!), is that I am drowning out paying attention to the others in the class. We are all beginners, no matter who we are. In that I feel I've learned something.
I've also learned that I don't CARE that I'm not as good as everyone else in class. I'm as good as I can make myself. That's the important thing.
I'm not in a race to be as good or better. I'm in no race at all. I'm learning. I'm slowing down. In the process, maybe I'll learn how to get back to my martial arts training, to get to the point where I can be super proud of myself again.
It's up to me because it's all in the mind
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