My arms are sore, my voice is raw, and my heart is thumping.
I can’t stop smiling.
I GRADUATED my self-defense class tonight!!
And to think I almost didn’t go. I couldn’t find my book, I couldn’t find anyone to practice with, and I was worried that I wouldn’t remember what I’d learned. I was worried I was too weak. Happy to say, I WAS WRONG!
Reminds me of being in school, the anxiety I used to have over tests. I would study like crazy and not get any sleep, and sometimes miss class. In the past I would find all the worst-case scenarios about why I would fail.
But instead of worrying, I decided to believe. Since there was nothing for me to study with, I had no choice. I decided to have faith in my own muscle memory, my instincts, my adrenaline.
I realized I wanted to see my classmates. I wanted to be there for and with them. We were all being tested. It wasn’t just about me. And I wanted to prove to MYSELF that I can do it.
There was just one condition: Don’t quit.
I told myself, “You are going to do it!” I shut out fear and focused on being positive.
I didn’t do anything physical to prepare. I did get a good night’s rest. I asked for some prayers, and I prayed myself. And I met up with one of my best friends, Catt, for pie beforehand. We caught up, we laughed, we ate pie, we hugged. I went to our final class in a great mood.
I watched a few people go before me. We were all rooting for each other. It was hard to watch the other women struggle and I could see when they were losing strength and wanted to quit. But we all yelling, “You can do it!” and our instructor would be right there, encouraging us too. And they triumphed! I could see I wasn’t alone– it was just as hard for them as it was for me.
When he called me up, I was ready. It was nice, again, to be called, “Miss Amee.”
To be respected.
The test was designed to make us tired, to catch us by surprise, to test our endurance. It was scary, and real.
I got through the push-ups, punches, blocks, and surprise attacks.
But mainly, I USED MY VOICE. That’s what he taught us the first day. My VOICE is my biggest weapon!
I can say this for myself, I screamed the loudest! It felt good, too. I feel like A LION!
It’s amazing to know I’m capable of it.
Our instructor said afterwards that using your voice provides a burst of energy, and it’s true.
The adrenaline DOES work. I used some of the techniques, but I was good at blocking punches and getting out.
I learned that it’s not easy to knock me down. I have more energy and instinct than I realized.
He asked us all how we felt afterwards. I told him I felt PROUD.
He had us line up and receive our certificate of graduation, and he gave us our t-shirts in a traditional way, then shook our hands.
The last time I got an award for something was my sales, at work. And I was happy about that!
But this was so much MORE exciting.
In this class I learned that it does not MATTER that I’m small. I am still a FORCE! I had someone take a picture of me with it, and also my classmates and our teacher.
I feel happy, confident. Strong. Like a total bad ass.
I’m glad our instructor didn’t take it easy on us in that last test.
I had been worried I might fail– I had thought before, “Who is this guy to pass or fail me?!”
But he had our certificates waiting, printed up. AND MY NAME WAS SPELLED RIGHT! My whole name! So many times, it’s been bungled. That’s the price of having two unique names.
He believed in us all along. He knew we would graduate. It was just up to us to go forward and claim it!
He did his job, we did ours. Everybody won. It wasn’t a competition.
And I’ll tell ya one thing: I am FRAMING that certificate!! And I already put on the-shirt, it fits perfect.