Stand Up Eight

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

It happened again this week.

I fell down practicing a spin kick.

The first time I fell, I was practicing the then-new-to-me, spin-hook kick from my first degree black belt form. One moment I was trying to put into practice what my instructor told me, the next my view changed.

To that of the ceiling.

The second time I was about to fall, my instructor used his lightning fast reflexes and

grabbed my belt just in the nick of time and saved my back from another sudden meeting with the hard wood floor.

The third degree form presented me with the spin-HEEL kick, which I liked even less than the spin-hook, but proceeded to wrangle it into submission. Without falling, thankfully.

Now that I'm a fourth degree, I have not one but FIVE spin kicks in my form, one of them a JUMP spin kick.The good thing is that practicing spin-kicks has become easier because flashbacks of that first fall has stopped taunting me every time I start to spin-kick.

To improve on those kicks, I have been taking increasing risks, primarily in terms of speed. Alas, I went too far this week. But this time, I had learned to fall better and I landed on a mat, not a hardwood floor.

Still, the fall stunned me. I sat on the mat, tempted to believe the lie that all the work I had done had only brought me back to square one. As soon as I banished that thought, a second one surfaced: "Ah, but now you're back to being cautious and your kicks will have no momentum, and what kind of spin kick is that?"

I knew I had to prove that nagging, critical voice wrong.

So, I got up, and retraced the steps that I had taken over the years to work on the kick.When I felt ready, I took a risk and kicked with the speed and height that I wanted..

I didn't fall.

Experience tells me that progress doesn't come in a straight line. I expect to keep working on those kicks.

What matters is that I stood up and worked my way back to where I was confident again so I would continue to work and improve.

Even if I were to fall again.

I'll just stand back up. What's that saying? "Fall seven times, stand up eight?"

I've only fallen twice.

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