I was waiting patiently to make a left turn, not at a major intersection, but into a residential area (no traffic lights or signs). There finally came a point when there was a big enough gap, between the cars going by, for me to make the turn…except for a pickup truck that I could see coming after the gap, but its right turn signal was on so I figured he was going to turn so I had enough time to go. Well, just as I let my foot off of the brake and started to turn my steering wheel, the truck’s driver decides to go straight instead of turning. There was still enough space but the problem was the driver was one of those bullies who sees a small car and decides to intimidate by accelerating! So, there I was in the middle of the turn with a HUGE truck (ok, it was probably Dodge Ram sized but in the thick of the experience, it seemed huge) speeding my way! For a fraction of a second, I went into panic mode in the middle of the road. I could feel myself freezing. Just then, in my mind, I saw and heard my Kenpo instructor yell, “DON’T JUST STAND THERE! DO SOMETHING!” Survival mode kicked in. I hit the accelerator and finished the left turn safely.
A little history about my martial art instructor’s exclamation…During one of my earlier ranking tests, I was going through some self-defense techniques and, at one point, while being “attacked” by one of the bigger guys, I froze. That’s when I heard a loud voice yell, “DON’T JUST STAND THERE! DO SOMETHING!” It was my instructor urging me to snap out of it and take action for my safety. I did…and passed the test.
I must say, although I don’t particularly like to be yelled at (I don’t think anyone really does), I am grateful that he yelled those words at me that day. In more ways than one, they’ve been lifesavers.
They’ve helped me avoid potential accidents while driving. Did you ever think that practicing martial arts can make you a better driver? Bonus tip: It may even save you some cash via a good driver discount (I’ve had one for years). 😉
But, most importantly, those words have been a reminder for me to take action in life.
“Don’t Just Stand There! Do Something!”