10 Seconds of courage by undefeated fighter Nadine Champion is not only one of the most influential books I have ever read, but it is also a complete wake up call to my own self doubt and fear. A Friend Introduced me to Nadine Champion’s Tedx speech on Youtube, he had listen to me express my frustration with training and how I am trying to persevere through pain. I immediately was captivated by Nadine’s story and wise words passed down by Sensei Benny, and like many people who have seen the video I found myself raising my hand in encouragement at my computer screen for her to break the block of wood, a test of strength and will. (even though I had seen it many times already I still did this action).
With out giving too much away the book chapters are split into rounds that map out important events or lessons in Nadine’s life. These chapters are written to make the reader self reflect with highlighted points that relate to how we all think during certain events in our lives and how by simply changing the way we think will change the outcome and impact the events will have on us.
I feel like Nadine has totally made me feel less like an alien and outsider especially in the world of martial arts. She has shed light on her own experiences that I often feel I face to some extent. Whilst I am not as well trained as Nadine and have limited years of experience , I feel my determination is hindered by my lack of self belief, the constant fear of making a mistake or getting things wrong with the added pressure of wanting to get things right to impress a coach or training partner.
An important message declared in ’10 Seconds of Courage’ is “learning requires freedom to get things wrong”, and while often we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things right we have to also learn to laugh at ourselves and not take things seriously. In training on Saturday night I became increasingly frustrated by a training drill for take downs in BJJ, all I could think of is “I feel stupid, I look stupid”, instead of allowing myself to get it wrong and shake it off, even laugh for goodness sake, I took it so seriously that I just gave up. After reading Nadine’s book I feel ridiculous for giving up so easily.
I guess something Sensei Benny would say is “where there’s a bitch, there’s a want” . The lesson I have learnt from ’10 Seconds of Courage’ is during the take down drill I needed to find the want and drive to be better at it, and the real reason I was upset is because I was not immediately successful when I looked around and saw other people were doing it with ease. I allowed myself to be completely Immersed in other peoples success and confidence rather than working on my own determination to succeed in that one drill.
Nadine, Thank you for making me feel brave enough to dream and more importantly brave enough to succeed. I advise everyone in whatever goal they have in life no matter how big it may be, to read this book for realisation that the only person who can make you believe your good enough is yourself. That the moment you “change your thinking” you leave a world of possibilities open for your own achievement. And the best way to start this journey is to stop. breathe and take 10 seconds of courage…
Thank you Nadine Champion and Sensei Benny