We have all had those moments where we would love to crawl into a hole and hide when we’ve just done something REALLY embarrassing. My friend, Dan Myers of Break Free who has guest posted before, asked me if I would allow him tell us his story about one of those moments. I have had the pleasure of knowing Dan for almost as long as I’ve been blogging. I think you’ll enjoy his story. When you have a moment, be sure to check out his new website. Dan is doing some awesome giveaways this month, something you will not want to miss!
Now here is Dan’s Story:
It’s the question that inevitably comes up during an interview or while hanging out with friends, and it’s probably one of the least truthfully answered, “What’s your most embarrassing story?”
For a long time, I refused to unleash my most embarrassing story on the world because it was too embarrassing. Too embarrassing – is that possible – I’ve heard some really embarrassing stories. For me, it was.
It all started when I was a kid and my older brothers started Tae Kwon Do. They were in it for a few months and my dad decided to do it as well. To make a long story short, he stayed in it for many years, received his black belt, and became an instructor. Now add me to the story.
I trained under him for many years and eventually earned my black belt. Nothing too embarrassing, right? Oftentimes, we’d complete demonstrations at schools and different events. We’d usually demonstrate some weapons techniques, patterns, and in the end break boards – always the most exciting part.
Mid-way through my sophomore year in high school, we were invited to complete a demonstration at… my high school. Right away I knew it was a dangerous venture because any screw up would get broadcasted to the entire school and even in success you never know how people react to a martial arts guy. Luckily, it was only for the elementary students so I wouldn’t have my peers there.
All went well and we were putting on quite a show for the students who were cheering us on. Through the corner of my eye, I noticed some of the high school basketball team and coaches standing in the gym watching our performance. Pressure increased.
We got through the patterns and weapons without a hitch and it was time to move on to the board breaking. I never had too many problems with board breaks as they were a requirement to reach the next belt. I’m not a big guy, but being the “coach’s son” always seems to result in a pretty good technique.
It was time for my break – a pretty standard one board break with a sidekick. Keep in mind I had previously broken 3 boards together on a sidekick during a best testing. The kids in attendance were all excited and ready to see some wood shattered.
I felt more pressure. My peers were still standing in the corner of the gym watching with anticipation. My first attempt… my foot slipped a little too high on the board, resulting in me bouncing backwards off of it. As mentioned before, a proper technique requires an intense focus on the kick, the proper placement of the foot, and a strong follow through. I was missing all three.
The students in the audience let out a disappointing gasp, but I had another shot. However, this time the guy on the microphone in front of the hundreds of kids decided I need to be cheered on – so he initiated a countdown which the whole crowd got into:
I’m not sure why, but my nerves got the best of me and I kicked before they even got to one! Now I was really flustered. The audience reacted with ooohooo’s’s as they wondered why I couldn’t get through this single board. I did have a bit of an excuse as the yellow pine must have been cut only days before and was full of sap, but they didn’t know that. Usually we break dry and crisp boards.
At this point, no one had given up on me besides myself and they decided all I needed was even more encouragement, so they all screamed!
Still no break! What the heck, I had done this a hundred times before but when I needed it most, I couldn’t even get through the board! I was incredibly embarrassed as all of the kids gave up and hung their heads in shame. How could I let them down?!?
As you can imagine, I soon heard about this again from my coaches and peers the next day. The good part is they also now realized I was a black belt so they didn’t give me too many problems.
This really taught me how important it is to get in the zone. During testing, we’d usually have about an hour of physical workouts before we broke boards. We’d be pretty tired, but our minds were in the exact right place. When I was trying to break the board at the demonstration, I knew I wasn’t in the right place but didn’t realize it would impact me that much.
What about you, what’s your most embarrassing story? No, not the one you’re unafraid to use in interviews, your real most embarrassing story!
What a fun read, and HOW embarrassing for Dan. Per Dan’s question, what is your most embarrassing moment?
Life’s journey continues…
PS: If you enjoyed this story check out some of my other stories such as An Assumption, A Dog & A Rabbit, Attitude Adjustment and No One Was Watching. Enjoy.
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