Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lessons Learned from Failure

Last Saturday really hit me hard.  We were taking our first pre-test for our TKD black belt.  I felt pretty confident I knew the routines we had to know to pass.  There were three judges.  When it came my time to test, I completed the first routine, they are called poomse’s, and the judge I had asked if I wanted to try again.  I was taken aback as I thought I had done it right.  It went downhill from there.

At the end of the testing, the three judges got up to tell us how we did.  The first judge went through his list of people telling them specific steps they needed to work on.  Then it was my judge’s turn.  He failed a few of us, including me.  It was crushing.  The third judge, who had had several students who didn’t know their poomse’s, passed everyone.  I was shocked!  What????
I’ve never failed anything in my life.  Especially anything I really worked hard for.  It was humiliating not only to be failed when I thought I knew the routines, but in front of everyone – especially in front of my middle son who, thankfully, passed.  It was frustrating that the judging clearly depended on the specific judge and wasn’t the same criteria for everyone.  It was a bad Saturday.

It took a week, but I’m back.  Grand Master S. wasn’t able to be at the testing, upon return he heard from many what had happened with the three judges.  I didn’t talk to him, but I knew several had.  He’s going to work with people individually to determine where they are and help them know what to work on.  The judging will be fair next time.
What did I tell my son?  He was very upset by everything.

1.  Life isn’t fair!  Sometimes you get the harder judge.
2.  Anything worth having has to be earned. 

3.  Failure isn’t an option.  I’m going to keep going.
4.  I’m proud of his accomplishment and this shouldn’t detract from it in any way!

So, it’s Saturday again.  No test today – we’re going to work on self defense.  I’m glad we got to go through this and both of us learn some lessons.  Me – I got a lesson in humility.  My son – he learned that life doesn’t always go the way we have planned even when we try hard, but we must keep trying.
Selfishly – I’m done learning lessons and am ready for smooth sailing ahead! 

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