This new year I didn't set any resolutions. I knew what I wanted from mid last year, when my dear karate instructor nearly died. Instead of succumbing to cancer and the life support machine he was on, my instructor decided to flip death the bird with both hands. Six days later he was out of hospital and rather than saying his final goodbyes as he was instructed by the doctors, he decided to map out a 20 year goal plan.
That is some serious hero material right there.
He threw a huge party called F##K You I'm Not Dead Yet and asked everyone invited not to wait until death was on our doorstep to decide what we really wanted to do with our lives. We were all told to come to the party with our own 20 year goal plan written on palm cards and sewn onto our jackets. Our love and admiration for this man is huge, and every single one of us turned up to this party with our hearts on our sleeves.
It was exposing, confronting, inspiring and brilliant.
I labored with great seriousness over my 20-year goal plan and wrote out a list of dreams and goals that I would passionately pursue. Goal #26 is become a boxing champion, and this one's going to be tough for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I am not a good boxer. Some might say this is something of a deal breaker, but I'm not convinced. I'm never one to get caught up in boring stuff, like "the facts."
I started boxing last year simply because I couldn't get to my thai boxing gym consistently enough and I wanted to train up for my first fight. But when I started boxing, without the kicks, knees and clinch, it turns out I was pretty bad at just using my footwork and hands.
Being bad at boxing told me one thing -- I needed to box. How could I be a karate girl for 18 years and be so bad at boxing?! What sort of martial artist was I? I knew that if I could improve my boxing, I would become a much better martial artist.
So I set the goal to become a boxing champion. That should fix the problem.
I began boxing tenaciously and was lucky enough to be training with a small group of men at my local boxing gym, most of whom were very experienced fighters. I didn't have a coach, or a corner man, or any such luxuries a boxing champ might need. But at least I had a small group of boxers to train with, and one seriously dedicated boxer who shared his passion, experience and techniques with me.
I hung on every word and instruction, training like a woman obsessed -- or so I thought. It actually wasn't until last week that I really gave myself permission to fully achieve my dreams. Or more accurately, someone opened up the door to my dreams for me. And I walked on through.
Thanks to a remarkable alignment of universal awesomeness and synchronicity, I managed to be part of what I believed was a privileged boxing camp with a great boxing coach, alongside some of the most talented and dedicated boxers in the country. I was lucky beyond belief.
At the end of Day 2, Coach had us lined up to discuss the training and give feedback. I asked a question about how to make a transition from having good footwork in training, to becoming a good fighter in the ring? His answer more than surprised me.
Coach told me that I needed to box full time. As a 38-year-old, I didn't have time to lose. This was earth shattering for me. I never would have thought I could be a full time boxer -- despite having deciding to become a boxing champion.
"You have to marry boxing," he told me as his eyes cut straight across the room and pierced into into mine from way across the room.
There was no second thought. I had just decided to become a full time boxer.
And just like that, I realized I now had full permission to do something that I really wanted to do all along.
So if there's something you really want to do, even if you're not good at it, even if it seems ridiculous. Right now, I'm giving you a piercing look and telling you with full conviction -- you have every permission to do that very thing you most want.
As Coach said, "If you want to go out and grab it, go out and grab it."
Here's to all of our journeys. Let's go out and grab it.