• sarahdraht

It's the journey that separates us, is the goal that brings us back together.

I think we have it all wrong

In between matches at worlds

In our culture females are taught they are beautiful when they are all dressed up and maybe even wearing makeup.

For me? I always thought the most gorgeous females I ever saw are the ones training. On a high level competing in tournaments. I remember being a white belt at my first pan ams and watching the brown and black belts compete and thinking it was the most inspiring thing ever.

They are fit, they are strong, they are smart. I find in this culture people lose connection with who they are. On the mats, you find who you are again. Through struggles, through challenges, through victory, and through defeat. You find who you are again because the work that happens on the mats is real, honest, and vulnerable. If your giving it all you have, you will find out what you are capable of on a whole new level.

When I coach my classes, I always think they look way better walking off those mats then when they walked on. The sweatier they are the rosier their cheeks the better.

This life tends to take a toll on us. Being exhausted emotionally or physically from work, stress of home life or financials….You get the idea. It has the capability to slowly kill our soul.

Then they step on those mats.

The work that happens on the mats in that hour is real, its vulnerable, it’s strong. There is no faking.

Everyone shows up as they are, and give it all they have.

It is my responsibility as an instructor to inspire and put them to leave it all on the mats. To drive change in them.

The amazing part is, the class starts easy and becomes harder and harder as the students are warmed up and the class progresses. The harder the class is the more alive they become. Using more energy, being pushed past their limits, and challenged - but they come alive.

The most beautiful things to me in this life are real, are honest, are raw. Makeup and high heels aren’t beautiful to me, they display nothing to be proud of. Anyone can put on makeup and a dress. Strength, perseverance, and vibrance are what comes from inside through a hard training session. This is why it’s beautiful to me.

The girls might disagree.

But they don’t see what I see.

The next best part? If they are on the mats they are investing in themselves in a powerful way. Physically (obviously - improving fitness), mentally, and emotionally. Martial Arts training goes deep, the part I am continually amazed with is how everyones journey is different. And how what they need to work through and challenge always somehow shows up in their journey.

I love training and getting on those mats even when I don’t. Some days I am damn exhausted.Maybe I don't want to be around people, maybe I just don't feel like training tonight.

But if I’m on those mats training that means I’m not drinking.

If I’m training it means I am investing in myself.

If I am training I am around positive people and good energy.

If I am training I am moving forward in some way.

If I am training I am not static.

If I’m on those mats it means I am getting better.

And I never regret stepping onto those mats, at the end of the evening when I step off them.

The thing is. No one is going to have the journey I have, and I won't have the journey they have. We are all on our own journey. I think it is important to not compare. Me competing at worlds is just as important as my mom that comes to kickboxing to improve herself. As long as we are both giving it everything we have, being receptive to the lessons and making ourselves the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

It's the journey that separates us, is the goal that brings us back together.