Off the Cuff with Jacqueline Ross | September

By Jacqueline Ross

Greetings humans! More than half of my life has been spent on a dirt bike at a motocross track.  In case you were wondering, I’m 32 years young and I started riding/racing at the age of 12. Just so you know, I’ll be 33 in November and I’m in the process of planning Flow With J-Ro’s 2nd Annual Birthday Motocross School at Mesa Motocross Park! I give the gift, meaning it’s free and everyone is invited! Florida is the place to be at that time of the year, so be on the lookout for details and I hope to see you there!  

Okay, ADHD moment. Let’s circle back around. 

Before I was introduced to motocross, karate was my sport of choice. I had wanted to become a Ninja Turtle since I was 4 years old and I also wanted to earn a black belt. At the age of 6, my parents found a karate studio and in I went!

I participated in the style of karate known as ”Kenpo.” Kenpo karate has 10 belts that you must demonstrate superior expertise through each belt level en route to achieving the all mighty black belt. By the time I earned my green belt (the sixth belt before black) I was 9 years old and had been doing karate for 3 years. I used to compete in karate tournaments all over Florida and I was also on the Jr. Demo team. I loved it! 

When was the last time you achieved something of value that didn’t require you to be uncomfortable, self-disciplined, or determined in the pursuit of your goal?

One night after class had ended, it was teeming rain outside and I was waiting for my mom to drive up so I could run and jump in the car. Mr. V (the owner of the karate studio) yells to me, ”Ross, if you dodge everyone of those rain drops I’ll give you your black belt tomorrow.”  
My eyes lit up, I was so excited!  For I knew that testing for a black belt was no easy task. You had to possess a red belt for at least 6 months and the black belt test was not for the faint of heart. 

I had heard from the other instructors that the test usually took 8-9 hours!  You had to perform all the katas, self defence, and series moves from each belt level.  Then 8, 2-minute rounds of sparring with a partner and then on the heavy bag. Wait, there’s more!! 

After completing all of the above you had to run 3 miles in under 24 minutes in addition to 125 pushups and 200 sit-ups. Is anyone else experiencing mild fatigue from just reading those last three sentences!?  

Needless to say, my 9-year-old brain thought dodging raindrops sounded like a great idea! Every time it rained for the next few weeks, I’d always ask if the offer was still on the table. I would do my best to not have the rain hit me while I was running to the car.  Honestly, thank God I was never able to figure out how to dodge those raindrops. 

With Pro Motocross racer & friend, Rudy Waller, after my black belt test in ’99

I came to find out through the journey to earning a black belt, the person I became was of more value than the belt itself. I am extremely grateful that at a young age I learned the importance of developing the values of integrity, hard work, perseverance, and an indomitable spirit.   

When was the last time you achieved something of value that didn’t require you to be uncomfortable, self-disciplined, or determined in the pursuit of your goal? In today’s world especially, more and more people want to stay in their comfort zone, things to be easy, and everyone to get a participation award. 

There is a price for everything you choose to do and everything you choose not to do. You have a choice in your choosing. However, you don’t get to choose not to pay a price.  

Process and proceed accordingly,