You’ve heard it before. In order to succeed, you’ve got to “surround yourself with the best.” This philosophy finally hit home for me one evening in my cardio kickboxing class, and I saw first-hand how important this concept is.
Previously in my class, I didn’t really exert myself or even break much of a sweat; basically, I’d been a pretty mediocre participant. We routinely paired up with a partner, and one of us wore boxing gloves while the other held up pads to hit. And then we switched roles.
Up until recently, I paired up with someone who was pretty much like me—strong and in-shape, but not really one to go all-out. My partner and I always had fun during our sessions and laughed a bit and talked about our personal lives in between punches. No big deal, no big sweat, and then class was over.
Intrigued by a superstar
Each week, though, I noticed a woman who really intrigued me. She was incredibly lean, super strong, visibly very fit. During class as I practiced my punches and jabs and watched my form in the mirror, my eyes were always drawn to this same woman. She was fierce like a tiger. Beautiful with a blond pony-tail, her face was intense and her eyes laser-focused when practicing her moves.
I had a longing to be her partner to see what it would be like (even though I was actually slightly afraid because I knew she was probably capable of some pretty powerful punches!). So one evening before I left home to head for class, I planned on partnering up with this woman. I visualized it working out perfectly so that we would be right next to each other and naturally hook up as partners.
That evening in class, everything unfolded just as I had envisioned. “Lisa” and I smiled at each other and introduced ourselves. She looked even stronger close up! I was ready for the challenge. I was the first one to put on my gloves, and Lisa nodded at me with a “Let’s go!”
I hit the pads she held up, and I hit them hard. I paid attention to my body to make sure I was using proper form. And I was strong! I felt a combination of pride—and shock—that I was doing so well. Previously with other partners, I held back because I didn’t want to hurt anyone. But Lisa said I could go harder and that I shouldn’t worry about her. So I gave it all I had! Together, we were on fire. I was punching the pads so hard that it sounded like fireworks were exploding in the room.
“BOOM!” “BOOM!” “BOOM!”
I became a superstar, too
To my delight, our instructor came by and commented on how well we were doing together. It felt incredible. And I think I even gave my super-star athlete of a partner a good workout, too. I smiled inside to myself when Lisa said, “I thought you were new to this class…you’re so strong!”
When it was over, I felt a little light-headed. I had never before pushed myself to that level of intensity! But I was so grateful for the experience to unleash a power within me that I didn’t even know existed.
So what’s the point of all this? In the past, I hadn’t held myself up to high standards, so I never really knew what I was capable of. I always sort of “played along.” But I had this deep desire to see what I could really do.
And when I picked out the best to be in my sphere of influence, I blew the roof off.
That night was the first time I truly realized my power. Growing up as a girl and taught to follow “lady-like” rules, I never dreamed of hitting anything or being aggressive. The physical exertion and punches I threw were just what I needed to show off my unrestrained limits.
Time for you to shine!
We are all capable of so much more than any of the outer edges we impose on ourselves! Now, following my joy includes having the courage to shine my light as brightly as I can.
What is it in your own life that you are intrigued to “try out”?
Where do you want to push harder or go farther?
Who do you need to surround yourself with in order to succeed?