Sometimes the best way to commit is to lock yourself in, so you have no choice!
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“I don’t remember much about that night. I just remember the sound of the lock clicking behind me and knowing that from that point on, I was on my own. There was great power in that.”
I was having coffee with my friend and fellow speaker and coach Jaclyn Roof about the time she entered the cage fighting ring. I was fascinated and horrified by her story.
35-year-old Jaclyn decided she would train for an MMA fight, and trained like crazy. When she went to the weigh in, she felt strong, ready and confident. She met her opponent. This wasn’t the Heavy-weight, televised, highly promoted kind of stink-faced, face-off type meeting that you see on TV. I was kind of disappointed to hear that they had a very friendly conversation. They compared training, and of course, their reward after the bout.
“I’m going to Vegas, and my husband and I are going to let it all hang out for the weekend! I can’t wait.” Jaclyn mused.
“Oh Wow! I can’t wait to be able to go to Vegas and drink!” Lauren, the friendly adversary said.
Jaclyn paused. “Ummmmm, how old…are you?” Seconds ticked away slowly as Jaclyn braced herself for the answer.
“I’m 20!” Lauren said perkily!
“OH MY GOD.” Jaclyn was horrified. “I COULD BE YOUR MOM!!”
“Oh no! That makes me feel worse about going into the ring with you!”
To keep herself from punching the child right there, Jaclyn nervously bid her farewell, and quickly left the area.
What am I thinking? I’m an old lady. This is ridiculous! Her confidence took a round house kick square to the head.
But being the coach and inspirational badass that she is, she turned her self-talk around. No! I’m ready. I’ve worked hard for this. I’m strong, and I deserve to be in this ring. Age is a number. This little girl doesn’t know what she has coming.
It was at that point, that Jaclyn sealed her courage and stepped into the ring. She could have backed out right then. She was terrified. Understandably. But she didn’t back out! She put on her big girl pants, stepped into that ring, and promptly got pulverized by her cheerful challenger. (not that she didn’t hand Lauren a significant walloping before the ref called her the winner by decision though!)
But in true badass form, that is Jaclyn’s favorite part of the story. She felt good about the fight. She was strong, confident, she didn’t back down, and she didn’t back out. When that lock clicked, she felt a surge of power knowing she could count on nobody but herself.
I felt the same way when I started my second Ironman. I was terrified all morning, but when I put on my wetsuit, and the starting gun sounded, I heard the proverbial lock click, and said “let’s do this! It’s just you, and 140.6 miles.”
What are you waiting to commit to? Do you have the guts to let that lock click behind you? Don’t think for a second that you won’t feel terribly frightened. If you don’t, it’s not a real challenge. The key to courage is feeling that fear, giving yourself an honest pep talk about your abilities and your readiness, and letting that door close behind you, and trusting in your power, because you are powerful my friend. You’ll be absolutely amazed at what you can do.…
…IF you try.
And you won’t always win….and sometimes, that’s the best gift of them all!