Quitting should never be an option



Quitting should never be an option

This weekend I am venturing to Valdosta, GA for a taekwondo tournament. I have mentioned before that I am a martial arts student and instructor. Once again I will face my stage fright and jump into the ring.

I’m heading out Friday afternoon and will compete early Saturday morning. I really do enjoy these tournaments, but have found that more and more I’ve been getting very scared nervous before stepping in front of the judges. I’ve always been extremely a  little anxious right before a competition, but now, my heart pounds so hard I’m afraid other people can actually hear it.

The problem is I get disappointed in myself and expect more than I can sometimes deliver. Injuries and a degenerating case of rheumatoid arthritis makes the level of my competition less than it first was. I HATE that.

My balance sucks, I can’t kick or jump as high as I once did, and my stamina is dismal. After two minutes of going through my form (kada), I am breathing like I just ran a marathon. But, I keep doing this. I keep telling myself that quitting is not an option.

As my RA progresses, I know that I will be limited in what I can do and will have to adjust to avoid serious injury. But, to stop completely would mean that I have let it win. I won’t do that. Sometimes though, it’s hard to admit that I can’t do what I want to do, no matter how determined I am. It’s hard.

Then I look at NC, one of our instructors. N has cerebral palsy and I have never seen him give up on anything. Even when he falls down doing the simplest move, or when he can’t kick any higher than ankle level. He is a triple, Triple Crown World Champion in forms, weapons and sparring. He never gives up.

Or I look at Mr. R who uses a wheelchair, having had both of his legs amputated. R who still competes and still instructs new students. He never gives up.

Or, I look at RS, a phenomenal woman who I have had the pleasure of knowing and competing against. A few years ago, after a slow recovery from a car accident, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Even when she can barely walk she is still in the competition ring giving her all. She never gives up.

Or, I look at DH who suffers from lupus, yet took on the added physical effort of competing in extreme martial arts. She never gives up.

Makes my problems seem so very insignificant.

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