Judgement Day

Some people are born to perform and some people are just born. When I was 13 I entered the local eisteddfod, the annual music, dance and drama contest thingo. I was to play a song on the organ. I sat beside the Mothership, trying not to spew as I watched the adoring parents watching their virtuoso little shits.

Finally it was my turn. I walked out onto the stage, squinted in the spotlights, curtsied to the adjudicator, sat down at the keyboard, propped up my sheet music, splayed my fingers over the keys, then froze.

I don’t know how long I sat there baking under the spotlights; I can’t remember if I played a note. I just remember thinking, Nope. I stood up, scooped up the music and fled into the curtains.

I have a rich history of choking under pressure – public speaking, swimming races, own-goals and that time once again at the Eisteddfod where I had to recite a poem called Bullocky by Judith Wright and I strolled onto stage and said, "Bullocky… by Judith Wright " Then I froze and could not remember what came next. Bloody stinking Bullocky by Judith Wright. I still can’t remember what comes next.

But the kickboxing grading tomorrow is going to be a different story! I have been telling myself this all week. The mind is so good at only recalling the SHIT TIMES but I know I have successfully done stuff in the past – recited poems beyond their title, collected shiny ribbons, savoured the smugness of victory.

We had our last practice at Wednesday night’s class and I completely froze up during the sparring and almost burst into tears – but let’s be positive! Let’s say I was just getting all the crapness out of my system in advance, so I’ll be entirely competent tomorrow.

Thanks to all you lovely martial artistes who wrote this week. You’re so right in that this is a mental challenge more than anything. I’m going to try to block out everything else in the room, concentrate like mad, listen properly to the instructions instead of my churning guts.

This time tomorrow night I’ll be on the couch watching the Indianapolis MotoGP and eating bacon and pass or fail, it will be DONE. Cannae wait.

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28 thoughts on “Judgement Day

  1. Good luck, you will be fine. It is definitely the case that you have to get the crapness out of the way in the week running up to your “thing”. I had the crappiest runs of my life (and let’s face it, I have had some lulus!) in the weeks before the actual races wot I ran in public, like. And I was fine on the day. You will kick literal and metaphorical butt. Go for it.

  2. You will do it – a person who’s tackled so many challenges in the last few years as you have will be fine. Remember that some nervousness is a good thing – it puts you a bit on edge, gets the adrenalin going and brings out the best in you. Go my wee Scozzie! Zxx

  3. “Let’s say I was just getting all the crapness out of my system in advance”

    That’s the spirit; that’s fighting talk, all the way!

    I am so in awe of your latest adventure so I shall be keeping everything crossed. But regardless of the result, is this whole thing not pretty b***dy amazing?!

    You rock, DG and that’s all you need to remember!

    Big kiss.

    Mrs Lxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Good luck! 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes~

    As they say in Korea: FIGHTING! (They say it, like that, in English. It means “good luck”!)

    bc

  5. Best of luck tomorrow! You’ll kick butt for sure!

    (unless that’s an illegal move- kicking butt, I mean… You’ll surely be kicking some place you’re supposed to, for a really impressive grade! ;))

  6. Don’t beat yourself up. Take the energy and beat up the other person. You can do it.

    Why couldn’t that be pro wrstling be part of eisteddfod? It’s all show isn’t it? I say stuff ‘Bullocky’ beat some a*se. Well, maybe not but it would surely be more exciting.

  7. No matter how good (or bad) you did, just think back to six months ago and ask yourself, “Could I have done that?” Probably not. Focus on how far you have come, not how far you have to go 🙂

  8. hey DG!! good luck for tomoro!! kick ass!!! think of it as kicking the ass of all those serious gym chicks!! go for it! !

    X

  9. I’m giggling, because one time in an organ competition, I started playing when I realized that I couldn’t recall the next part, so I just played the first part over and over again, until I realized that I wasn’t going to remember it. Soooo… I just stopped and got up and walked off the stage. I think that is a totally appropriate response. What else is a girl to do?

    That said, I, like many others, are confident that your kickboxing will be nothing like that. You’ll do great, and then your mind will have to remember this success and forget all about foolish organ competitions and poety readings!!

  10. ooh! How’d it go?! I’m a martial artist currently in search of a dojo, and I miss it badly. It’s always great to find other martial artists around! (even if around is half way around the world!) I’m sure you did fine, but I want details girl! ^_^
    -Meg

  11. You so rock!!! you’re sooo gonna kick ass! That’s right…YOU. Just concentrate on what you’re doing and not what’s going on beyond you and the person you’re sparring with or the movement you’re executing. Keep centered and focused and turn your nervousness into adrenaline pumping energy!

  12. Bloody Bullocky eh?? Oh yes Shauna I remember it well. anyway, we were never real keen on Judith Wright poetry.
    Well done though.Never doubt yourself!

  13. As a victim of the Cowra eisteddfod, I too can relate to the fear that set in juuuuuuuust at the beginning of a performance. I also remember that dusty, weird smell on the stage. Even if I smelt it now my hands would probably get all clammy and I’d forget what I was thinking/saying/doing.

  14. Hey! We have eisteddfods in South Africa! It never occured to me to wonder about the odd spelling or the origin of the word. I just assumed music teachers had made it up in order to feel important.