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Innae Spirit

October 12, 2020

Innae Spirit

It was one of my daughters who came up with the name: Innae, during a brainstorming session. Most of my ideas had centered around ‘sweat’ and I think she was trying to save me. In my defence, one of my most used phrases as a personal trainer and Taekwon-do instructor is: ‘Sweat fuels life’ and I even got a t shirt with this printed on it!

In reality, ‘sweat’ and ‘perseverance’ aren’t so far apart and as Innae means ‘perseverance’ in Korean, it felt right. My background is in the martial art of Taekwon-do and over the years, both as a coach and a competitor, perseverance has always been an important part of my life. As an instructor, I have come to see its importance for my students. It’s very rare that we learn things on the first attempt, but I must persevere in my teaching and my students need to learn to understand that it’s not a failure to take a while to master a technique. We must never feel that something is insurmountable and to make do with what we are comfortable with. Things feel so much sweeter when we’ve persevered to learn them!

Sometimes a young student can get quite upset when they can’t do something and I quite often see kids giving-up too easily. I think as parents perhaps we can be to blame. We know how important it is for us to set our children high standards to achieve. We know that expectation is key to our child’s success. However, if our children feel unable to reach these high standards, it can make them anxious and the easiest route for them to take in order to stop this anxiety, is to give up. In fact, this is where the importance of achievable goals comes in to play for all of us; we want something that we need to work at, but equally that we can see is possible, thus developing our grit and determination and ultimately achieving that high.

Another reason that I think we can all give up too quickly is that there is always something easier that we can do. However, we need to remember that quitting can sometimes be harder than persevering. It can lead to that horrible feeling of failure. As Ziad K. Abdelnour said: “one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

I was listening to a programme on the radio today about resilience. A lady who had had both her legs blown off in a bomb attack was asked whether she had been resilient before the tragic event, or had learnt resilience since. She said that resilience doesn’t just come from within, but we can draw resilience from the people around us. I think perseverance and resilience go hand in hand. In martial arts, we have to learn how to deal with taking knocks in the sparring ring and have to dig deep within. When things feel out of control, we have to find the strength to keep going. We can also draw on our coaches to develop this strength from their encouragement. In life, we are often scared to take a risk, because we don’t want to fail. We have to remind ourselves that mistakes are positive! The more we persevere, the more mistakes we make, the more resilient to failure we become and ultimately the more we learn.

Through developing my brand: Innae, I’ve had to embody that name! I’ve made mistakes and I’ve hopefully learnt from them. I’ve sweated blood and tears, but this is what my brand is about: perseverance (and sweat) is the fuel of life and the key to finding your Innae spirit.