Oct 09
l.sleeper's picture

Panic Attacks at TaeKwonDo.

It was the Wednesday night before my Black Belt Testing. Before this night, I was pretty nervous, but that night I was especially nervous. On Wednesday nights, we have two different classes. The first class is a Sparring class, which is kicking each other with gear on, and the second class is Poomsae, which is the Korean word for forms, and a form is a series of movements. The Sparring class happens from six to seven, and the Poomsae class happens from seven to eight. The Sparring class was fine, I was as nervous as I normally was. When we got to the Poomsae class I was much more nervous because this was the last class that I would get to do my forms for everyone. That was terrifying to me. I remember going through my kibons, which are like mini forms, and being told something by one of the Black Belts, and then I got immense tunnel vision and started crying. Everyone talks about tunnel vision when they talk about any Black Belt Testings, because you get so focused or nervous or both that you can only see you and everyone who is on the Testing board. The testing board is a group of well over fifty Black Belts, all of them are Master's or higher. I started crying because I was told that one of my stances was too wide. This seems like an easy fix, and it is, but I got upset because I've been doing that particular stance since the day that I went to my first TaeKwonDo class. No one has ever told me that it was too wide. And then it really clicked. Everyone is watching me so closely now that they can see if my stance is an inch too wide. And then I thought, 'I'm not even testing now, so what will happen when I do test?' And then I was crying, on the floor, in the middle of class, and I kept doing my forms even though I couldn't see because there were so many tears in my eyes. I was, and still am, far to stubborn to step off of the floor, but I was so nervous and petrified and scared that I couldn't see anyone around me, I couldn't even hear anyone else. I was still crying two hours later. I realize that this sounds like I'm being a drama queen, but I'm not. I was petrified. On my Black Belt Testing day, I couldn't focus in school, I couldn't retain anything that anyone said, and I was always looking panicked while reading the cards that had my verbals on them. That night, when I tested, I couldn't see anyone else next to me, and I couldn't hear the people around me. The only person that I could hear was the announcer who was telling us what to do. After my Testing, I got a break long enough to take off my Sparring gear and get a drink, then we were called back on the floor. My best sports moment was watching Master Elliot take off my high red belt and put on my Black Belt. When you get a new belt, your instructor always does the final knot. It made it even more special to watch him take my high red belt off as well. He knew how nervous I was, and he chose me because he wanted me to know that I did fine. That was my best sports moment. Watching my Black Belt get tied on to me and knowing that I finally did it. I finally did the thing that I never thought I could do. I got my Black Belt.  It still makes me tear up.