"Is that on your bucket list?" someone asked me earlier that day. Nope. It was never something that I thought I would - no, could do.
Normally, it takes three years to train and learn how to break a board. When I was told I could learn it in 30 minutes, I had all kinds of self doubt.
I was handed a piece of 12 inch pine and asked to put all of my goals - everything I've ever wanted on one side and my limitations - everything holding me back on the other. To say I was intimidated was an under statement.
When I was told that it was optional, not a requirement for the certification I was there for, my usual motivation strategy - force - went out the window.
I had to want to.
I watched others, one after another break their boards easily and I wondered if I could. As I got more and more nervous, the quieter I became. I almost gave up. It would have been so easy to slip out of the noisy room unnoticed.
So I got really focused on the "why". For quite some time, I've felt like I was just on the edge of everything I've ever wanted. The symbolism was so incredibly powerful and that was enough to motivate me to face this fear - to see if I'm really capable of accomplishing what I set my mind to.
I stepped up to those cinder blocks and after two failed attempts, I finally broke through the board on the third. To be honest, I'm glad it took me three tries. It taught me about the importance of a recovery strategy:
• that if you keep focused on what you want, you'll get it.
• that if you accept the help and expertise of the people around you, it becomes even easier.
• that when your beliefs and values are aligned with your goals, the outcome is inevitable.
• that in the end, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to get to where you're going - all that matters is that you did it.
• and most importantly, to never give up on your dreams, or yourself.
I was shocked when the boards gave way. I didn't even realize it at first. I can't even begin to describe the feelings that overwhelmed me next. It was absolutely incredible. Sometimes we surprise even ourselves with just how much we are capable of breaking through.