Now that I've had a week to take in the entire RKC experience, I thought now would be a good time to reflect. Here are my thoughts in no particular order of significance:
1. I never felt as if I would "die" during the weekend. I truly enjoyed the pain of hard workouts. Each time I made it through something tough, I felt empowered. Each time we were told what we were expected to do, I thought to myself, "Here you go, Amy. This is your chance to prove to yourself that you can do this." Jerry commented every day how surprised he was that I wasn't complaining about the training.
2. Brad Nelson came into my life for a definite purpose. Without his tough love and belief in me, I would never have made it to the RKC cert. I remember being a victim for the April 2006 cert and thinking to myself that it would take a miracle for me to ever be able to do that. Well, I got my miracle. Why does it take someone else to see the potential in you before you can see it yourself? Brad encouraged me, gave me tough training sessions, and supported me when I was hurting. It was a comfort knowing Brad was at the cert if I needed to bounce something off him. He gave me a Z assessment Thursday night in the hotel. Then he worked with me and by Friday, I was feeling fantastic. Thank you for EVERYTHING you did for me Brad, leading up to and during the cert. I hope I made you proud to say you're my trainer.
3. The set up of the RKC is optimal. The days are long and demanding, but that's the best way for it to be done. Your body has to make all the movements normal, subconscious. If you have too much time to think, you'll start second-guessing the adjustments the instructors are making in your technique.
4. The long, demanding days also force you to focus. I never missed my kids because I had no room in my head for thoughts of them. That was beneficial.
5. I didn't mind the military style/feel to the training. I've never been in the military, so I didn't know if I would take to that style or not, but I definitely did. It's part of the "not having to think about anything else" mindset that makes it almost a comfort to be told what to do. I found myself just letting go of my self-doubts and complaints because I knew they would be worthless. There's no use in resisting. It will only waste your energy. Just do whatever you're told to do. It works. And, by the end of the weekend, I was ready to take back control over my life. That's also empowering.
6. The RKC community is amazing. Everyone is supportive. Everyone wants to see you do your best. Everyone roots for you. No one is mean or demeaning. The tough love is assertive and direct, but NEVER destructive or cruel. I was so willing to improve, to strive for perfection because I knew my instructors all wanted me to achieve it. There is no feeling like that. There is no immature attitudes of "I'm stronger than he is. I'm so cool." We celebrated the strength and skills of each other and helped one another push through roadblocks to discover strength. Amazingly uplifting!
7. The graduate workout is not about proving your skill and strength to the instructors. It is about proving it to yourself. When I lined up on that field and looked at how far I had to go, I knew I had a choice. I could doubt my strength and ability and struggle, or I could open up my mind to the FACT that I was able to do this. Kenneth Jay yelled "GO!" and I just focused on pressing those bells until he said stop. Each time I picked up the bells for the presses, I said to myself, "Amy, you are strong. Enjoy the experience. You can do this." And the funny thing is, I believed myself. This is probably the first time in my life that I did believe myself on something positive. I've always believed the negative self-talk. To believe the positive self-talk is a breakthrough. It is revealing and self-affirming. THIS is what makes the RKC certification weekend life-changing to so many people, including me.
So, yes, I'm an RKC. That is sooooooo cool. Even better than that is the fact that I now know I am strong in more ways than I thought possible.