My Personal Journey

How it all started

A Mom's Journey through Black Belt Training

It started with my children (who are now 16 and 18 years old and third degree black belts) practicing Taekwondo. I thought it was great….for them. They learned respect, discipline and focus. Their excelled in school and gained great self-esteem. They worked out hard and had an awesome sense of accomplishment. But never in a million years did I think I could do it.

I had watched my children break numerous boards with their hands and feet. They even broke concrete at their black belt test!
I cheered them on as the sparred with kids they didn’t know at tournaments.
I kissed their bruises and rubbed their sore muscles after training.
And I had so many tears of pride when they finally reached their goal of black belt.

But, one day I did give in and tied a white belt around my waist for the first time. Wow, did I feel stupid. I didn’t know what I was doing and I looked like a dork, but this was the beginning of my journey.

I realized very early off that there is so much involved with becoming a black belt and it all adds to the experience. I learned so many lessons. I had been humbled by a 9 year old, had to test for new belts in front of judges, compete in tournaments, and my boards rarely broke when I kicked them. I had to learn to overcome fears and that I was capable of anything I put my mind to. This was all rhetoric that I gave my children, but never thought it would pertain to me.

After my first promotion to yellow belt, I was determined to make this journey 100% about me. I was doing something completely for myself. Not my kids, not my husband-nobody but me. At this point in my life, my existence seemed to be just to serve other people. This martial arts experience brought me to the surface.

I decided that I was going to train hard and really push myself. I wanted to jump higher,run faster and kick harder than I had ever done before.
I was going to overcome my fears of the unknown and break through anything that was put in front of me.
I had to learn that even at age 40 I still have a lot to learn and that I can learn a lot from a child.

I trained for the next two years, made excellent life long friends, learned how to defend myself and kept promoting up the belt rank ladder up until I reached the esteemed black belt. On the day that I received my new belt, I had the tears of pride for myself this time! I had given everything I had into this belt and did it for nobody but myself. I was in the best physical condition of my life. And I had overcome all my fears and weaknesses. I was empowered.

Everything that I had hoped martial arts would do for my children, it in turn did for me.
I fully recommend any woman experiencing the effects of martial arts. Every woman and girl should know how to defend herself against an attacker. But aside from the self defense aspect of it, martial arts has been shown to increase flexibility,strengthen bones, lower stress, lower high blood pressure and help you lose inches everywhere. One of my favorite benefits comes from all the kicking; my butt is a couple inches higher than it used to be!

On to the Next Level

Second Degree Black Belt

After two years of being a first degree (1st Dan) black belt, I was eligible to test to second degree (2nd Dan). My husband tested with me. I was more mentally prepared for this test because I had been through the nervousness of the whole process in 2007. I had a lot more fun at this test. But, it still was physically challenging. Because I am that annoying Type A personality, I felt that I had to be perfect and be even better than I was the first time. I wanted to run faster, break all my boards better and get through the test easier than the first time. Which was difficult because at the age of 42 years old, I had been through a couple injuries since the first test. However, I did achieve my goals. I ran the mile in a faster time (7 minutes 2 seconds), I did break all of my boards the first time and I felt great at the end of it all.
One of the requirements for 2nd Dan, is to perform a self defense scenario. My husband was my partner for this portion. We acted out a series of self defense moves in which I was the bad guy robber and he was the victim. It was loads of fun attacking him, rolling around and flipping him.
In the end, I have another bar of gold on my belt and a great feeling in my heart.

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