Facing Your Fears

In three months, I will, for the first time in my taekwondo life, participate in a test outside of my Roanoke comfort zone. I will travel to Florida and test in front of master instructors and high rank black belts from all across the country attempting to earn my third degree black belt. I have been, in essence, training for this moment for over five years. And somehow all of a sudden, it is a mere three months away and I am, in a word, terrified.

But....I have been terrified before. And taekwondo has taught me that leaving my comfort zone when I’m terrified has enormous payoff.

When I got on the mat for the first time, I was terrified.

When I tested for my yellow belt, I almost threw up beforehand because I was so terrified.

When I entered my first tournament, I was terrified.

When I had to help teach my first juniors class, I was terrified.

When I led my first class by myself, I was terrified.

When we opened our school, terrified doesn’t begin to describe.

If I had let being scared keep me from these things, I wouldn’t be doing what I love today. Pushing against the fear and nerves is the best thing someone like me can do. Because if I don’t, I will miss out on so much. And so I push.

I'm so glad I faced my fears and that I had taekwondo in my life to teach me these lessons.  It has also taught me perseverance and I have been training 3 days a week since January at 5:00am to get in shape for this big test.  And today, I actually felt like my body might be ready to go four hard rounds at testing.  And I’m starting to feel excited in addition to terrified!


Sarah Starnes

co-owner and instructor, Star City Taekwondo

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