Over 4 years since I started taking Karate. Of all the things I’ve done to regain my life from PTSD, this one thing has done the most to help me trust myself. Each belt the moves and challenges are more intense then the level before. I struggle with mat work. Falling forward into a forward roll is one of my top fears. I hurt myself before but the main issue is the visual images that flash through my mind. Kids knocked to the ground. Sometimes the images are so intense that my ability to carry out the task is zero. I rest then tackle it again and again and again. I feel stuck. Then I remind myself how far I have come. I actually used the correct way to fall when I slipped on palm seeds scattered all over the sidewalk. Falling on my back while slapping my hands down, I broke a blood vessel in my finger but no bones. I know from experience that falling correctly works. But then I am at the mat and the images are right there tormenting my mind. I want to scream at those images to leave me alone that time is long past. But my body remembers. My nostrils fill with the smells long past and totally nonexistent in reality today. I am attempting to allow myself to feel the feelings, smell the smells and look at the images from my past, then I do the ground work any way. The more often I master one skill after another the more confident I feel. My teachers is also tackling my reluctance to take charge of anything. Instead of shrugging my shoulders and saying, “Good luck with that,” I am searching my soul to see what triggers are awaiting me to face my fears. I am finally understanding my first counselor telling me that he wanted me to get to the point of saying, “Bring it on.” I arrived,
BRING IT ON.