I normally don’t share an entire essay written by a student. This essay written by a parent for her gold belt test is honest, and I think it portrays how most older people feel about wanting to try Tae Kwon Do.
“I started out very humbled, as I do in most things, excited for change and new opportunities; but fearful of inability to keep up with the challenges laid out by a very well trained & disciplined leader. Months before I joined the school, I found myself whispering silent wishes while watching my son: “I wish I could do that or try that”. All the while thinking, there’s no way, no way that I’d keep up or even be able to have the coordination to carry out the sequences of patterns and fundamentals. I had to supress a fear of failure just to try a session. It felt like throwing myself off a cliff no knowing if my bungie cord was actually attached – I know that sounds extreme. As I drove to that trial session my stomach had butterflies, my hands were sweaty, and it felt as though my heart rate didn’t need any physical exercise to elevate! So my first goal in TaeKwonDo was to just try it and hope to keep up, physically, with my classmates. I met that goal, not with finesse or skill, but with encouragement and praise from Mrs. Voisey who was instructing that evening. I left that night with a new goal – to keep coming back…..for as long as my physical body will let me!! With every class I expect my nervousness to subside, and those butterflies to disappear as I drive, but they don’t! So my next goal was and is to always have those feelings. I realized that it’s not nerves anymore, its excitement and I yes, my goal is to never lose that excitement as I shuttle to each session.
Becoming a parent changes your perspective on life entirely. Your priorities change, your life isn’t absorbed by thoughts of me, myself, and I any longer; it’s replaced with little her, or little him and then little them. It’s an all-consuming, all-encompassing, paradigm-shifting change to your life. Nothing can prepare you for that and I think most parents would agree that it really is shocking how much it changes how you think and live. I realized, after joining TaeKwonDo, that maybe I lost some perspective on how important it is to take care of my health and well-being as well; which brings me to my next goal. I need to feel well and healthy in order to be the wife and mother my family needs me to be. I love that I feel stronger and I can work hard and continue to work harder and push to reach that next level of training. It is so satisfying! This goal is the one that will sustain my drive to continue when I’m tired or sick or feeling overwhelmed.
This last goal is paramount amongst everything shared here so far. The tenets and creeds are more than just words to recite each lesson. They really are verses to live by and that is my goal – to love and to live by those tenets. TaeKwonDo strengthens and builds not only our physical bodies, but our spirit and minds as well. It’s also been so spiritually refreshing to be reminded of the scripture that is so simply stated and yet power in its impact on my daily life! I’ve witnessed a turn-a-round in my son as well over this past year. If it were not for TaeKwonDo and the foundations of strength, love, and discipline it stands for, I’m not sure what state he’d be in right now. I hope that in living by these tenets, I too can be continually transformed for the better throughout the entirety of my TaeKwonDo training.”