When I was younger I traveled a lot. My parents were always taking me on trips to far-off (to me) locales. I still travel quite a bit now, but the farther you go and the more you do, the more it feels as if the world gets smaller. Now, hopping to Florida or Atlanta isn’t the big experience it used to be. It’s still fun, still something I enjoy, but not the paradigm shift of yore.
I’m sure there’s a name for a type of inverse relationship of experience versus impact. But I’ll leave that for the smart people.
However, I digress.
October was the 2022 WKC World Championships in Killarney, Ireland. The competition was fierce, and the athletes were kind, and I even managed to have some fun while I was there, shocking as that may be.
It was also one of the very few times I’ve been at a tourney and NOT competed. It just didn’t quite work out with timing and all the qualifiers, but I enjoyed it. It gave me a different tournament experience as I was covering the event for SportMartialArts.com. So I took photos, streamed rings, and handled general question answering and professionally drinking coffee until events were done for the day.
THEN running around Ireland until dark.
Rinse, repeat, and recycle for five days.
When I was growing up I had a vague and ill-defined idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up. In between being a paleontologist or a fighter pilot I had an idea of something vaguely artsy that let me travel to neat places and do cool things. In college, I discovered I didn’t like geology, so paleontology was out. The fighter pilot thing was always on the back burner, but also being over 6 feet wasn’t ideal for that. And I was pretty bummed to discover that, while most of college has “vaguely artsy travel with cool things” vibes. There wasn’t an actual major for that.
So, I did Biology, Chemistry, Writing, and Teaching instead.
And on we went with that quadrifecta of degrees and kept on punching people in the head and fighting invisible ninjas for fun.
After a lot of time doing that, I decided I wanted to be a little more involved somehow.
I did some searching and found SportMartialArts.com.
About 5ish years ago I sent Emily Cooper an email asking if she would be interested in having me do some write-ups at events. I sent the link to this blog in that email, after a meetup at Conell Loveless’ event, I was more or less hired.
There was a bit of a learning curve. The thing about SMA is there is so MUCH going on at any given time and moment that it took me a while to figure out what was important panic. And what was “this is a big deal right now but also it’ll be totally fine” panic. And, through a lot of trial and error, hundreds of hours in airports and cars, and thousands of hours of streamed video and hundreds of thousands of photos, I think I finally sort-of know what’s going on.
So, that’s progress.
But, it was while I was in Ireland, taking photos, streaming rings, and exploring old abbeys that it all hit me.
I did it.
I somehow talked, wrote, and worked my way into that “when I grow up” idea of a job completely on accident.
And that’s how life works, I think. You set a goal, or have a hope/dream that feels insurmountable at the time. But then some time passes, you take opportunities as they come, and you keep chipping away at life. Until, one day, you happen to look up from whatever incredibly important thing is happening and you realize that not only have you achieved that goal, you actually blew past it without even realizing it.
Honestly, I think that’s great.