My last entry was incredibly depressing, so I thought I’d repost something more motivational.
I was asked on Quora how I got started and what tips I have for others.
- Find a good school
- Find teachers who can work with you
- Commit fully, time, energy, diet.
- Start small, but consistent
- Keep building and pushing yourself, safely but progressively.
- Don’t stop
One year ago today, I was an unfit person who needed to lose weight. I was also clinically depressed, emotionally abused and had as much self-esteem as I did Vibranium shields.
But I signed up for a Groupon deal and I walked into a gym and took a class.
I couldn’t run. I wheezed through the warm up. I almost died of fear during the choke drills.
But I did one thing right. I saw it was a good school (Elke Weiss’s answer to Do people often get injured while taking a self-defense class such as Krav Maga? and Elke Weiss’s answer to What is a good indicator that a Krav Maga dojo is real/fake? to know what makes a good school) and I committed to this path, with everything I had.
I went to class on a safe but consistent basis. I didn’t train past injury, but I embraced soreness and aches as a new way of life. I did every class I could. If I couldn’t finish, I watched and took notes.
I committed to changing my life entirely. I would sacrifice to make this dream come true.
I would change my diet. Soda, ice cream, cookies, all out. More spinach, oatmeal, and chicken.
I would schedule working out into my schedule. I would make that time set in stone, (within reason) and forsake fun activities in order to make time for it. Fewer movie nights. Less writing groups. Less free time.
I would be brave. I would refuse to quit. I would do what scared me, what made me sore and painful, and I would keep moving.
I committed to my incredible teachers, Alon Dagan and Raz Chen. We’ve had ups and downs but I have never doubted that they are the best at what they do, and if I trust them, I can move mountains. Okay, at least I could move better.
They knew my limitations, they knew what I was capable of. They pushed me to my limits and then showed me I had room to keep going. They trained me safely, but they trained me hard. They looked past all my flaws and saw value in me, value I couldn’t even see. And they made it clear, I could achieve amazing things. And under their guidance, I pushed myself to try.
I started slowly, with two classes a week, Elemental movement (30 min) and Core techniques(60 min) which left me wheezing and aching and lungs burning. And those were the easy classes. I often couldn’t finish them. But I did what I could, and each week, I tried to get 1% better.
I increased it every month. I had to learn the courage and commitment to be out of breath and winded, and come back for more.
By March, I was doing three hours a week. I needed the humility to struggle harder than my peers, and to feel like I was constantly behind, but keep coming.
By May, I was doing five hours a week. I needed the drive to push myself hard and be frustrated by my lack of progress, and keep going.
By June, I was working on seven hours a week and I got my first rank. Testing required me to try, fail, and come back for more, over and over again until I was ready.
By August, I was doing seven times a week, plus back to back classes. Then the real work began.
By September, I was taking ten hours a week. There were setbacks. There were days where I fantasized about quitting. But I never did.
And here I am now.
A year ago, I could barely do 20 minutes twice a week and now, I regularly do twelve to fourteen hours a week of exercise, and I’ve even taken four classes in a row.
A year ago, I didn’t know if I could finish a single class. I’ve completed over four hundred classes.
A year ago, I started my journey. This month, I got my second rank in Krav Maga.