I penned this letter drawing from the struggles I have seen in myself and in some of the people I have trained with over the years. I hope it encourages and inspires you!
To the female kickboxer:
The moment in which your heart first beat was a magical moment. You were something special.
You were a miracle.
The whole world changed in that moment. Like it or not, your life affects countless lives around you. Those lives then, in turn, affect numerous other lives and so forth. Your smile, your tears, your determination and your drive…they affect others.
They affect me.
Your parents, spouse, or best friend, key people in your life, have probably at one point or another told you that you are beautiful. You may or may not have believed whoever said that to you.
If you’re reading this, I have no clue who you are. I don’t know if you are tall or short, round or narrow, or what hair, eye, or skin color you have. I don’t even know if you are comfortable in your own body or not.
I do know one thing about you, though, without even seeing you. It is as true for me as it is for you:
You are unique.
Your individuality is what makes you beautiful.
Think about it. If we all looked the same, had the same skills, etc. beauty could not be found; only uniformity.
The moment in which one heart decides to beat at a slightly different rhythm than the next, beauty pours forth, just as it does in you and in me.
You are beautiful.
Nobody else on this entire planet knows what it is like to have your thoughts, to feel your hurts, to dream your dreams, or to walk a single day in your shoes. Your fingerprint is a symbol of just how truly beautiful you are. Your laugh, smile, voice, goals…they are all uniquely yours.
You are a female kickboxer, presumably, if you are reading this letter addressed to you.
Unfortunately for you, that does not necessarily make you unique. A bazillion other women are female kickboxers.
What makes you unique is how you kickbox.
Along your journey as a martial artist, you may find the temptation to transform your icon into your idol, to make your hero and object of your jealousy. You may find yourself moving from admiring the said-woman’s technique, skill, or style, to envying it.
The moment this occurs is the moment you will lose your beauty.
A jab is a jab, sure, and a cross punch is a cross punch, yes. But…how you put those moves together is where beauty can be released. Your pacing, your rhythm, your energy, your attention to detail, your body’s expression of those very moves will make the way you kickbox entirely different from the way the next woman does.
This being the case, you can become the hero to somebody else.
You can become the inspiration to somebody else.
You can be beautiful when you take your eyes off of your idol and close them.
Feel what it is like to be you in your body. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else (this is only self-defeating) and let go.
The moment you do this and your kicks and punches fly, will be the moment heads will turn in the room. It will be that moment in which people will hold their breaths. You will be entirely unaware that moment is even taking place.
You will be so in love with what it feels like to just be you.
I give you permission to let go of whatever is holding you back right now. I give you permission to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m beautiful.” I give you permission to step onto the mat with confidence in yourself and in who you are. I give you permission to accept wherever your skills are at as you read this letter. I encourage you to foster an insatiable appetite for learning more. I give you permission to create a challenge for yourself. I give you permission to rejoice when you succeed and to stand when you fall.
You are unique.
You are beautiful.
I wish you the best in your kickboxing endeavors.
A fellow female kickboxer