Our primary message here at the Big Dick Chronicles is “Go be awesome!” What sometimes gets left out of the equation is the companion message, “Go be humble!” You can brag about a lot of things, but being humble typically isn’t one of them.
Humbling stories generally aren’t the ones you want to tell in public, which is exactly why I’m going to tell you my most recent one.
(The next few paragraphs should be read with a deep undercurrent of sarcasm, otherwise you will come to the conclusion that I might be retarded.)
I have been a fan of martial arts since the days of my youth when Chuck Norris’ beard single-handedly conquered Cambodia. Since we were too poor for real lessons, my early training consisted of two hours of USA Networks Kung Fu Theater every Saturday afternoon. And then when I was 11, Jean Claude Van Damme released the ultimate at home training manual, Bloodsport.
My point is that, even with no formal training, I consider myself fairly well versed in the ways of hand to hand combat. I wouldn’t call myself a badass, but that’s more a function of my self-deprecating nature.
(Okay, sarcasm off. That’s about all the bullshit I can handle.)
As I’ve mentioned before, my kids have been involved in Tae Kwon Do for almost six years now. This year, my twelve year old son got moved up to the adult class. Since I now have to be there for the adult class anyway, I decided to join them.
Stepping into this class has turned out to be quite the humbling experience. I’ve been there to help coach my two oldest children all the way to black belt level, but I am starting this class as a level one white belt. I am practicing the same forms and techniques that I helped teach my daughter when she was five.
Perhaps the hardest part is that I am prohibited from practicing any techniques or moves outside of my belt rank. When I spar with the other grown ups, I am limited to three types of kicks and no hands to the head. They joke that sparring me is like trying to play a Nintendo after years of playing an Xbox 360.
Perhaps hardest of all, my eight year old daughter got to break boards this week. I’m not even permitted to try.
How long has it been since you were brand new at something? More importantly, how long has it been since you were brand new at something and had to be tested on it?
Friday was my first test to move up in rank. There is one other white belt in our class, a thirteen year old named Caleb. He was my partner for all of the demonstrations we had to do.
This is where you have to decide if an experience is going to humbling or humiliating.
I won’t lie; there was a moment when this process seemed a bit humiliating. I’m a grown ass man putting myself in front of a panel of judges, being evaluated on the same criteria as a 13 year old.
But isn’t that part of the test? No matter what your station in life, no matter how important you think you are, if you walk into a Tae Kwon Do class, you start as a white belt.
Being able to set aside your ego and let yourself be open to instruction is a vital part of the process.
I had a great time at the test. My main goal for the night was to keep encouraging my little white belt buddy. He was nervous as hell. Looking at it from his perspective, I’m pretty impressed by him. He was being judged on the same criteria as this obviously awesome Chuck Norris clone.
Once we have established ourselves as adults, nothing takes us out of our comfort zones quite so fast as being “new” again. I don’t particularly like feeling incompetent, but I also don’t like thinking that I was too weak to put myself in that position.
So if you feel like you could use a good dose of humility, I encourage you to go learn something brand new. It is even more effective if there are a bunch of little kids involved who know more than you do.