Essential Ingredients: Commitment

Many people who know me know that I spent a part of my younger days working as a Pro Wrestler. It was a very fun time for me, and at the time I had no responsibilities to anyone other than myself, so travel, injuries, and other assorted difficulties were of little concern to me.

I was working a match in San Antonio very early in my career. My opponent sent me into the ropes and said clothesline. My mid-twenties brain decided to do something I had never tried to do before, I wanted to flip in the air and take a bump from a clothesline that no one had ever even seen before.

Acrobatics was never among my skillsets.

I did not manage the three-quarter turn I had in mind. I really only managed to turn 180°. Now, when you are standing upright, a one-eighty means your feet are now where your head was. With a stupidity rarely seen outside of modern political discussion, I stuck my arm out to correct my fall. Anyone who even knows a little about the art and science of falling knows this would not end well.

I landed very awkwardly, separating my shoulder on impact, but my guardian angel had apparently looked up from her scotch in time to see what was happening, and my shoulder popped right back into place. Sort of.

Being the trooper that I was, I told my opponent what had happened. Obviously, he got the abbreviated version, with a few profanities added for effect. He told me to take a minute and find out how bad it was and then threw me out of the ring.

On the film, you can see me put my hand on the fence beside the ring, only to have it fall, almost lifeless to my side.

We had a match to finish.

I rolled back into the ring and we worked a way to finish the match. Of course, Oscar, being the great athlete that he was, needed to do another standing drop-kick before we took it home. I landed on my shoulder again. But we ended the match.

It was a week before I could lift that arm again.

Flash forward to my Taekwondo years. I was sparring a fellow student after classes had ended for the night. My opponent kicked low as I lunged in and his kick hit my ankle, turning my left foot backward and I fell to the floor. When I grabbed my knee out of instinct, I could feel my kneecap was now on the side of my knee joint instead of the front where it belonged. Without thinking, I grabbed the kneecap and yanked it back into place.

I hobbled back into class a couple of nights later to keep going.

I’m not telling this to sound tough. I am using this to illustrate the point that you can do more than you think you could ever do, provided you are committed to taking a certain action.

In those worst case scenarios we discuss, if you have a plan that you are going to execute should the event ever occur, your chances of success and survival go up. I wrote earlier about willingness, but there is still a difference between willingness and commitment.

Commitment is about a maturity. You can be willing to pick up a pair of scissors and slice and dice an active shooter, but commitment is actually picking up the scissors and taking said action. Willingness is showing up for class, commitment is practicing what you learned on your own.

Commitment is taking action. Move. Initiate your plan. Do what needs to be done.

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