Let me tell you about a boy who kicked.
Taekwondo (TKD for short) is a competitive sport as tough and intense as any other competitive combat sport. Like Boxing, #MMA and Wrestling athletes, TKD fighters get in the zone by plugging two earbuds in their ears and turning up the volume. #Music is essential to stay calm and motivated, to feel like a champion. When one summer 2009 national tournament came along, Lupe Fiasco and Matthew Santos reminded me that I was a champion, that I was a “Superstar.”
My coach used to always say if you picture yourself as the champion, often you’ll become the champion. That if you picture yourself losing then you’ve already lost the fight. Your mental state is the key to unlocking your potential and music helps tremendously.
Training and exercising is important, but if your mind is unstable, then the fight is already over. I trained hard for the 2009 AAU TKD National Championship in Florida and the time had arrived to travel down south and finally win the medal.
When we got there I was excited and ready to go! But when the fight was just three hours away, I was nervous. We all get nervous before doing something that’s important to us, but thanks to Lupe Fiasco and Matthew Santos’s “Superstar” I wasn’t freaking out.
“If you are what you say you are, a superstar, and have no fear, the camera is here and the microphone and they wanna know.”
The Superstar Within Us
That hook always kept me with my head up high and though the song is a decade old I still jam "Superstar" today. This was the first Lupe Fiasco song I heard. It was on rotation on #MTV’s AM program and every morning before heading to school the song’s music video was always on.
It’s hard pinpointing an exact memory tied to the song but one moment I do remember was that TKD national championship. “Superstar” kept me focused. It kept me strong and mentally motivated. Now every time I listen to the song my hopes are lifted and I feel rejuvenated. I feel like I can tackle the world and nothing can stop me.
More recently the song has helped me stay on the path to my dreams. If I’m feeling down or stressed, I play “Superstar” and I’m happy again, with power to keep moving forward.
Lupe Fiasco and Matthew Santos created a timeless classic that I’m sure will live on forever. I believe I’m not the only person with a connection to the song. “Superstar” is a reminder for everyone that the road to success is not easy, but that through the fight and beyond you must always believe that you are a superstar. Mindset is everything.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I won the bronze medal at the 2009 AAU TKD National Championships. Number three in the country!