Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Learning Karate or: How I Figured Out How to Try Something New and Overcome Timidity

Like my title, a -la Dr. Strangelove? I do. Anyways...So around last February, my husband came home and said "I'm going to start taking karate!" At first I was little surprised, but then remembered that a coworker of his was a black belt. Duh. So the story is that their company allowed his coworker to start teaching classes in an empty floor in their building. I'm sure it was something to do with teamwork, discipline, etc. At any rate, Jennings was super excited. So he went on his merry way and bought a gi and practiced katas in the back yard. After a month or two, we went to see a tournament, and by the time the next tournament came around he was ready to compete in one. All this time he kept encouraging me to come to class too. "You should go," "It's awesome!" is all I heard.

I was skeptical that karate would be for me. Also with work and school, I was feeling like there was no way to squeeze in another activity. But then I saw how much he succeeded and enjoyed it. I realized it had been a long time since I had done a physical activity and really enjoyed it. Probably high school.

Being in the colorguard was a pretty awesome thing, and before that dance classes were something to look forward to. There is something about being in a group and doing things together that is rewarding in a different way than writing a good article or making a good grade. Those things seem so isolated, but being part of a group is a rare and good thing.

So finally, as last semester slowed down, I started going to karate class. At first I was a little nervous about trying something new in front of people I barely knew. But that fear quickly faded when I saw how encouraging everyone was. There was no judgment when I go things wrong, only patience. So I have stuck with the karate thing since late November, and I am proud to say that - pending official testing results - I will be a yellow belt!

Also, this past weekend, Jennings and I went down to Fort Walton Beach for a karate winter camp. The main part of the weekend was a workout on the beach (it was 45 degrees outside!) and then we all had to get into the ice cold Gulf of Mexico for a few minutes and do some moves. Originally I was completely dreading this whole experience, but afterward I realized that it was worth it. It was worth it for me to try something I was afraid of and actually get through it.

Here is a shot of all of us in the water. Can you find us?

All in all, the experience was worth it for me. Also it makes regular karate class seem not so bad.

Are things that you have been afraid of trying that you ended up doing? Tell me about in the comments section =)


  1. o my goodness. 45 degrees. what is WRONG with you people?!!!

  2. i wish i could think of something i've done that i was scared to do, but all i can think of are things i WANT to do now but am too scared to try!! like join a jogging club!