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As I mentioned in my previous post, Muay Thai has given me a mindset to change my life. This week we are looking at how Muay Thai has inspired me to live with COURAGE.

“Every time an opportunity challenges you to be more than who you presently are — to take responsibility for the state of your life, express yourself authentically, act with integrity, pursue your dreams, open your heart wide to the experience of life, say no to what doesn’t inspire you and yes to what does — you are acting with COURAGE.” – Find Your Courage by Margie Warrell

I remember the first day I walked into the Muay Thai gym… I was terrified. I was fat and I was sure everyone in there would be fit and awesome and laugh at the fat girl who was clueless enough to show her face in there.

But I did it… I found my courage and walked through the door to get information. I got the schedule and then came the day I had to summon all my courage to put shorts and a t-shirt on and attempt to make my 215+ pound body move gracefully in front of others. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. I had to summon every ounce of courage to put myself out there so that I could change my life. I was terrified, but I continued to find my courage each time I returned to class until slowly I began to find that I needed less courage as my confidence grew.

While I became more confident in my body and my ability to demonstrate the techniques, I had to find my courage as my skillset progressed from hitting bags to hitting people… which also meant getting hit.

First, it was “friendly fire” from my teammates, but the fear of it hurting was real and I had to continue to find the courage and believe that I could take a hit and be just fine. Then, came in-house sparring or what I’d call “less friendly fire;” I knew my teammates weren’t going to kill me but they weren’t going to baby me either. More fear; more courage.

The ultimate test of courage came when I faced my first opponent. She didn’t know me or care about me and I knew the name of the game was to win… using any devastating technique she so desired. It was going to hurt and there was no doubt about that. I simply had to have the courage to face my fear of pain and of failure to do what I set out to do.

In the end, I have experienced both pain and failure in Muay Thai. But because of Muay Thai, I know that I possess the COURAGE to overcome any fear and challenge that I might encounter in my life. 

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