2017 HOF Speeches

The Weight of Days

KTC Logo PurpleI’m standing, feet spread, left foot forward so my body is turned slightly to the right. My knees are bent slightly, my open hands lifted. I look like I’m telling someone to settle down.

“Ai!”

The man in black shouts. I echo him…

“AI!”

… and I’m in motion. Right hand starts to move forward, becomes a fist. Left hand moves back at the same time. Twist at the hips. Wrist in line with my forearm.

THUD. My fist smacks the target pad, and I instantly do everything I just did, in reverse, and return to my starting position.

It was a good strike. Solid.

I started taking hapkido classes two years ago. I had some idea of what I was getting into, but really, it was all new to me. I showed up at my first class nervous and anxious, trying to understand who the people around me were, what was going on, and why everybody was yelling “AI!” all the time. I knew that I was in the right place, though, if I wanted to learn how to defend myself.

At the start I had only a vague idea on how to throw a punch. How hard could it be, really? You just… do it, right? If you’ve never taken instruction in something like this before, you would be absolutely amazed at how much goes into a decent strike. How you make a fist, obviously. How you hold your wrist. Why foot position matters. Balance. Snapping your strike instead of telegraphing it. Shifting your hands to make sure you’re keeping your own face protected. Speed, strength, accuracy.

Anybody can throw a punch. It takes practice to make that punch strong.

Before you can practice, though… you have to learn.

In order to learn, you have to listen to the ones teaching you.

I have spent the past two years listening, learning, and practicing. I have gotten better, but I know that I still have a long way to go. Over the course of getting through a trio of belts, a lot of what goes into a straight punch has become habit. That has been accomplished by doing the same thing, over and over. Throwing punches. A lot of punches. Hundreds, at least. Thousands, probably. Each one has contributed to and honed my ability.

My punch, now, has the weight of days behind it. Every punch I have thrown to date reminds me that I have done this many, many times before, and yes – I can do it again.

I’m no fool, though. My punch is stronger than it was when I started, but with practice, it will continue to get much, much better. I plan to persevere. One day, I hope to be good enough become an instructor. For now, though, I must listen to my teachers, learn what they have to teach me, and practice with my fellow students. I will prepare myself for my next belt test, one day at a time.

Each day stronger than before. That weight of days does add up.

When I first came to KTC, I had some idea of what I was getting into, but really, it was all new to me. I registered and posted my first day, nervous and anxious. I was confused, trying to understand who the people around me were, what was going on, and why everybody was saying things like “WUPP!” and “EDD!” all the time. I knew that I was in the right place, though, if I wanted to learn how to quit.

At the start I had only a vague idea on how to quit. How hard could it be, really? You just… stop doing it, right? If you’ve never read up on something like this before, you would be absolutely amazed at how much goes into a strong quit. How to post, obviously. How to make your promise. Why posting early matters. EDD. Keeping your quit protected. Having a plan, having support, knowing your triggers. Sharing digits. Sending texts. Stepping out of your comfort zone and talking to – or meeting! – another quitter.

Anybody can try to quit. It takes practice to make that quit effective.

Before you can quit, though… you have to learn.

In order to learn, you have to listen to the ones teaching you.

I have spent the past three months listening, learning, and practicing. I have gotten better, but I know that I still have a long way to go. Over the course of getting through my first hundred days, a lot of what goes into a successful quit has become habit. That has been accomplished by doing the same thing, over and over. WUPP, EDD – over a hundred times, now. Post support with other groups. Bump fixes, update the SSoA. Text my quit brothers and sisters every day. Each one has contributed to and honed my quit.

My quit, now, has the weight of days behind it. Every day I have quit to date reminds me that I have done this many, many times before, and yes – I can do it again.

I’m no fool, though. My quit is stronger than it was when I started, but with practice, it will continue to get much, much better. I plan to persevere. One day, I hope to be good enough to stand alone. For now, though, I must listen to my those who have come before me, learn what they have to teach me, and quit with my brothers and sisters. I will prepare myself to achieve my next hundred days, one day at a time.

Each day stronger than before.

That weight of days does add up.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Samrs

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