Saturday, June 15, 2013

The good hurt

[i just saw Ryan's blog on old-school hurt. Must be in the air!]

I'm writing this blog from Florida, where I am taking—took—my most recent series of tests toward becoming a PGA Professional.

Two weeks ago I was walking to the kwoon after having opened my study notes, guides, and "subject modules," with a scowl on my face. I was contemplating calling the PGA headquarters and telling them to refund my money: I was done with this nonsense.

I was looking for an excuse to give up, to quit. Interestingly, one of the interpersonal skills that my studies identifies is the ability to reframe a difficult situation. I knew that when I got to the kwoon, I was going to get my butt kicked. I also knew that the times I had been to class in the last two months were paying off, and even though I felt tired and my muscles were sore, I was stronger and had more energy than I have had in a long time.

How many times do I underestimate my potential?
How often do I give up simply because I have not let myself go further than I have tried to go before?

I will admit that I coasted through my academic career. I didn't push myself, I did the minimum to get the degree. I had no direction. Sifu writes in his Reflections that there is an exceptional education to be had for free for anyone who wants it. Atthis point in my life, I have the opportunity to get a useful credential and to make a difference in people's lives through teaching a sport.

Why would I give up? Because I am afraid to fail? Maybe because I am afraid to grow. When I was a child, if someone told me, "Hey, your knees, wrists, and other joints are going to hurt at random times. Are you okay with that? You can say, 'No, thanks,'" I might have opted out. I would have avoided the pain, but I would also still be smaller, because I would have traded short-term ease for my growing pains.

So, halfway to the kwoon, I realized that I was letting myself remain small. I also remembered that negative attitude reduces the ability to internalize and process information. I decided instead to believe in myself. I chose to say, "I got through the Level 1 tests, why can't I ready myself for the next level? I didn't coast through college because I was unintelligent, I did because I was lazy and unfocused" [which, now that I put those words together, have closer meanings than I realized].

Plus, I never let myself have any confidence. Confidence means standing up for yourself: not just believing in something but believing in me. That always felt arrogant and uncomfortable—even lonely. But it is the same thing as when I teach a golfer how to hold a club. It is uncomfortable only because it is unfamiliar, but eventually it becomes familiar and comfortable. It gets easier and easier until it becomes a thing of mastery.

For now, it hurts a little. But it's a good hurt. I'm through the last hurdle, and on to the next. Just don't stop. Just don't quit. Just keep going.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences! You think a lot! We miss you here at the kwoon and are looking forward to having you back.

  2. Yep. Don't give up. But I have a question. You know I come to understand why Shi Zu was a bit demanding about the blog. I feel like everything is dead now because nobody is saying anything. Can someone please write a comment on this goddamn it?? Lol. Seriously everybody is being lazy nowadays. Jeez! Haha.

  3. Lol Kang... really getting mad. Don't start throwing tape, now. Haha! But you're right, I've definitely been getting more lazy with the blog. As far as this contribution from Todai Dai goes, it's very relatable. I'm sure everyone recognizes this experience. It's easy to let yourself off the hook and not accomplish what's possible. At our age, studying can be a real chore... especially in a case like this, where the passion is in the physical activity, not in the written words about it. I feel your pain. But hey, you push through it, get the credentials you need, and then that part's done and you can get on to what you're really wanting to do... the thing you can't do without the papers

  4. All right, fine. I'll try not to be so lazy on here, Kang. I noticed it has been slow on here and was thinking about making a new post, but my internet went out for a while today.

    I think everybody goes through phases where things get frustrating and you want to quit. Good luck pushing through, Todai Dai.

    1. Lol. It's okay. I get lazy on the blog too sometimes. I am seeing the beauty of yelling a little bit. I ask for one comment and I got two. Lol. Anyway I can relate to Todai Dai too. It's hard to stay focused on your studies when you are passionate about something else; but it's not impossible. I know some of my friends who actually overcome that type of struggle. Todai Dai, don't quit.


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