Posted by Ran Isner 

Last night I graduated to a white-blue belt in my Kickboxing practice. As part of the graduation process I was required to write an essay and do one hour of community service.
In the essay I was asked to write about what I have gained since beginning my practice and if I have noticed a change in myself. What came out were honest words of gratitude and acceptance. 

I am grateful because this practice has allowed me to join a community that embraces everyone with no judgement, a community that supports one another and not expects something in return and a community that reminds you that it’s not about the result, but about the process. 

The professor said something that even though I’ve heard it before, it resonated with me in that moment. He said that the week after earning the belt is very important. It is important because that is when people take their foot of the gas and decide that it’s time for a break and that’s why one should push even more. 

The work doesn’t stop just because you went up a belt (insert whatever accomplishment that suits your situation) if anything it becomes more intense and every level becomes more meaningful because it means that you are taking one step closer to where you want to be. Even after you are a black belt, the work always continues because we never stop learning.

Another thing I wrote about in my essay is how much this school is in alignment with who I am and who I am striving to become. I want to surround myself with people who share the same values as I do and are committed to creating a culture of empowerment and positivity. Building people up is so much more fun than tearing them down.

I am grateful every time I get on that mat and am looking forward to the journey ahead.

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Graduation

October 9, 2016

Doesn’t it feel like graduating when you complete something you have been working very hard on? Graduating also means that now it’s time to move on and create something new.

On Oct. 26 I am graduating from white belt at Kickboxing and I am really excited. It affirms all of my hard work and commitment to bettering myself. Practicing both Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing has really been instrumental for me on the challenge and what I am most happy about is that I am still very much committed to my growth as a practitioner.

I was afraid I might give up on myself and start going less and less but I really am enjoying my practice. Over the years it’s been ┬áchallenge for me to keep up with exercising because it seemed like more of a chore to me than anything else. What I really wanted was the results but wasn’t willing to put in the work. It’s been like this for most of my life where I wanted to do things but when I realized the work that was involved I would quit.

Yesterday Marie and I went to another one of Jeff Combs’s events in Long Island and he was talking about paying the dues in order to be successful. In order to be successful we have to put the work in and know that the process is just as important, if not more, than the result. We can have a result in mind but until we are actually in the process we don’t know that journey will lead us.

In the couple of weeks since the completion of the challenge I have been catching the old thought creeping in. you know, the ones of my ego telling me that I won’t be able to sustain all of the things that I accomplished because I am not meant to hold on to the good because the good is never meant to last.

This graduation is proof that I am moving in the right direction and that I am meant to do bigger things. I must keep paying my dues and I will get to where I want to go.

In a way I have graduated to a new level of being and so the fact that these are happening simultaneously is no coincidence.

 

Push it!

July 27, 2016

Yesterday I went to my Kickboxing class and at the end of the class I said to the instructor “you know, I felt better in last week’s class” and he said to me “I think the reason why you felt the  last class was easier is because you pushed yourself harder this class”. I wasn’t aware I was pushing myself harder, but he most certainly did.

I was tired after class. I haven’t pushed myself this hard in a very long time and that is exactly why I joined this Dojo. I know myself well enough by now and I know that I require the structure of an instructor led class and I require to train with people who push me and motivate me. I require that community because that’s where I thrive. I enjoy seeing people achieve goals they never thought possible and it inspires me to do the same. For most of my life I have been part of a team, whether it was gymnastics, a youth singing group or as a part of an acting conservatory in college, I always enjoyed being part of a community.

In all of those different environments I was able to achieve success. I was national champion in gymnastics. I was in my element performing on stage with my friends at the youth singing group. In college I graduated with honors and earned a bachelor of fine arts degree. I know that it was because of the people I surrounded myself with.

Although I achieved all of this success, and I am finally in a space where I can acknowledge myself for it and not discount it and diminish it, I still struggle with self doubt and stepping into my greatness. The struggle doesn’t exist!Iit’s made up. Nothing is hard, we have been preconditioned to describe things as hard and as a struggle and we give it a negative connotation.

During class, the instructor keeps reminding us to smile because a smile is associated with a positive experience. There is no reason why pushing yourself to your limit should make you grimace instead of having a big old smile. After all, the reason we push ourselves beyond what we thought was possible is to better ourselves, it is to be the people we know deep in our core we were meant to be and that’s quite a reason to smile if you ask me.

Push it! And smile while you do it.

 

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The two newbies at Kickboxing with Sempai

Posted by Ran Isner

The son of the founders of the company my wife and I are partnered with was on our team call last night and he said something that really hit me in the gut.”the noise is the loudest when we’re not in action”. WHOA! He said a very simple thing, nothing out of the ordinary but the simplicity is what made it so powerful.

I almost felt like he was talking directly to me because the noise in my head has been so fucking loud that it has debilitated me for so long. It has paralyzed me, has kept me from taking action and kept me from being the person I know I can be and doing the things I was meant to do.

On Sunday night I was debating whether or not to do a 2 day deep cleanse. According to my 16 week challenge schedule I was supposed to do it anyway but the noise was going to do it’s thing again and talk me out of it. At that moment I decided that I WANT to do the deep cleanse! I chose to do it and for the next two days I felt amazing. I hydrated like a crazy person and on top of that, I decided that I am going to take my first ever kickboxing class last night. I want to remind you, I have been cleansing for two days so going to the class is probably a bad idea. See? That’s what the noise was trying to get through to me but I was in action, so I quieted the noise and I felt amazing after that class.

The bottom line is that when we are in action, the noise almost becomes a non-factor, it becomes so quiet that you almost forget that it exists. The way I felt last night after completing the 2 day deep cleanse and after taking the class was intoxicating. I was so full of energy and I just can’t believe that I have been depriving myself of this feeling for such a long time.

I have been missing in action for a very long time and now I am drowning the noise. The noise is just that, noise, and it is undeserving of my attention anymore!

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