"The Will to Win"
Not too long ago in my life, I was faced with an incredible challenge of athleticism and will. I was to compete in the 2003 National Championships for the martial art Tae Kwon Do. Sport Tae Kwon Do is a competition similar to boxing, only an impressive display of aerial kicks is the main arsenal of a competitor as opposed to punching combinations in boxing. A point is scored and shown on a large electronic scoring screen when one competitor lands a solid kick to the body or head of his opponent. Each match consists of 3 rounds which are 3 minutes long each. In this sport, a knockout is an automatic victory.
Like most other Tae Kwon Do practitioners, winning this competition and securing a spot on the national team is a dream we can only hope to achieve by endless tiring hours in the gym. I, on the other hand, had not put in the amount of work that most competitors normally would. Two and a half weeks prior to the tournament, I was not in the best shape that I could be, and not in any condition to capture a national team spot. The stark reality of my situation hit me when I glanced at the calendar on my wall. It was at this point that I knew that no matter what, I wasn't going to let myself lose this tournament. This was when the rush training began.
I began working out in my basement along with the training studio twice a day for at
least 2 hours each session. After every practice my muscles ached so badly I could hardly walk. This was probably the hardest that I had ever trained for any competition, even though I had...