The 3rd light
By this point in my training my footwork had become pretty good.
It wasn't unusual for me to get compliments on my moment.
I could pivot , shuffle , step back , cut off , transition from outside to inside and control my opponent with my feet.
However Coach didn't see it that way. Coach Billy would constantly tell me to take smaller steps. When I sparred it was common to hear him call "even smaller yet becky"
" shorten that step up" "smaller than you think"
No matter how many times he said it
It was something that my mind wouldn't and couldn't comprehend.
My feet didnt want to cooperate
My awareness stared to change after we hosted Martin Wheeler at the gym for a Systema seminar.
During the seminar I listened to Martin carefully as he gave away pearls of wisdom in every sentence he uttered.
It was while listening in to one of his conversations with a student I learnt something important.
He asked the student why they were training JiuJitsu.
Martin asked what his goal was and the student struggled with his response.
Martin kept on prodding him until the student said
" to learn "
Martin then asked him this question ,
"what would happen if you trained and instead of trying to win you let yourself fail? "
This stuck with me and the idea was planted.
I started to wonder what would happen if I sparred and instead of trying to win/beat my opponent I allowed myself to fail.
I wanted to find answers to my questions.
Why couldnt i do those smaller steps?
What was holding me back?
Obviously something was.
I realized my fear was blocking me from doing those smaller steps
I realized that I was afraid to fail.
I was afraid if I did a smaller step and I did it wrong I would be punished for it by my opponent.
I was afraid I wouldn't do it right and that my coach would be dissapointed in me.
I was afraid if I messed up people wouldn't see what I had achieved so far and would only see my failure.
I was afraid of what would happen to me as a consequence.
With this new found realization I knew that to be able to do the smaller step during sparring I had to stop blocking myself .
I had to allow myself to fail
I had to face my fears.
So I did.
I failed a few times at first but I was able to learn from the failure
I saw that none of my fears came true
I persisted and made adjustments .
In time I was able to make those small steps.
Consequently my boxing skill and awareness stepped up.
I faced my fear of failure
I let my self fail
I improved in the game
I learnt the power of small steps