Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facing what comes

Health update: Round two chemo is done, port installed and we're checking how that's working. The hair is *gone*...beyond the buzz you saw earlier. Things are ok here health wise. Chemo sucks, but you knew that already. More to come on that front, just had a story in my head I wanted to tell today :)

Saturday afternoon I sat in my bathroom and looked at Nick and said "Well, let's do it." It was the first blood-thinner shot I was going to need to take at home and the assumption on both of our parts that my needle-phobic tendencies would keep me from being the administrator of the shot. I'd been really working myself up to this moment and decided "what the hell, I am going to try to do it myself"...and did. It actually didn't hurt at all and I am really just a big baby, but it was a leap for me to just own the thing that needed to be done, even though as I poised that needle above my belly I was scared as hell to do it.

It reminded me of an experience that I had with David a couple of years ago in Tang Soo Do class, one that I have seen a number of times since. The back story has grown a little foggy, but we were at a belt demo at our dojang and the various belts were going up to perform. David was the only student in his particular color class at that point and the instructor had overlooked putting him in the show, completely by accident.

He sat there, huge tears in his eyes, looking at me like "what do I do?" So I kept giving him the signal to hang out, be calm, not worry. The demo segment event ended, he got up and came over and asked me to take him outside where he proceeded to freak out. Master Fancher came out to see what was up and said "well, David, you'll just do a demo now" which for some reason took him into the atmosphere of "NOOOOOO!" sobbing, crying, freaking out. I left him with Master Fancher leaning over him giving him a really solid pep talk and telling him he needed to go do it, even if he was scared. So David came into the room, still sobbing, people were wondering what in the hell was going on and Master Fancher proceeded to tell the group what a great student David is, how he's really a Jedi in disguise and David heard none of it because he was still crying. Master Fancher looked over at him like "ok, dude, let's go" and David refused.

It was horrible.

Then, in a moment of total clarity, Master Fancher walked over, picked David up under his arms like a little kitten, and took him to the center of the floor.

He barked the command of "attention!" and David snapped to into ready stance.

And as Master Fancher called each of the moves, David executed like a total champion with precision, skill and technique unlike anything he'd ever done before. He came into himself in that moment in a way I had never seen...confident, driven, focused and brave. The crowd was on its feet cheering, moms in the crowd were tearing up.  I was completely blown away.

Driving to work today I replayed that scenario in my brain a hundred times, gathering strength from what that experience taught me about facing what comes, about pulling it together, about overcoming fear, about working through something that scares you and not only survive, but to thrive and excel. We are not our fears. We are not our insecurities. We have inner strength beyond our wildest dreams if we give ourselves to test it in the ring.

Just last night, that same special little boy and I wrapped up Harry Potter The Goblet of Fire which left us with a good final thought:  “As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come … and he would have to meet it when it did."

P.S. I wrote a little piece on my experience of taking Tang Soo Do with David for his school's parent blog: http://s-kparentblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/walking-step-behind.html

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