October 3, 2013

starting taekwondo as an adult

As some of you may know I am currently practicing Taekwondo, a Korean martial art. I got my first belt, the white belt, in November 2012. Here is a recent picture of me with my Master. He's a 5th degree black belt from Korea, and he trains us very hard physically, but has a great personality and makes sure that we train hard, but also focuses on the importance of a positive spirit and mind.

Every two months we are tested after training in self-defense, kicking, form and breaking techniques. This past week I tested for my 6th belt in the curriculum, the blue belt.  The next belt is the brown belt, and that is about the half-way point of my training. I am half-way to achieving my Black belt in Taekwondo.

It's an unbelievable feeling to be working on a goal I have wanted for so long. I wanted to train and practice a martial art ever since I was a child. As an adult I didn't know if it was something I would be able to do. For a long time I thought I missed my opportunity. I was worried I wouldn't be as flexible, as quick, and have the endurance to keep up.

When I realized that quite a few adults joined that have had no previous experience, I felt motivated. I felt I could try it. And I am so happy I decided to start training. Since I started training I have seen a huge increase in strength and my flexibility. The age and sizes of people vary in my adult class and everyone keeps up and does the best they can do. The oldest student is 74 years old and has more endurance and strength then any young person I know. He's sweet, has a big heart, and trains hard.  Size doesn't matter either, some people join to get healthier or to lose weight. We push each other to be the best we can be. Everyone has their own limits and comfort zone and we respect that.

What I learned is that it is never too late to go after a dream and a goal you set. Don't let yourself make excuses to do something you want to do. I wasn't as flexible before, but I have become more flexible. I didn't have the endurance before, but I do now. I didn't have any muscles before, I do now. Sure, I still wish I started when I was younger, shoot, by now I could have been a potential 3rd degree black belt or beyond. But there is a time for everything.

I know I am where I am supposed to be. I think entering it as an adult has made me appreciate and value it even more. I have been given opportunities to help instruct children and while some are very talented and are committed, some are practicing because their parents have encouraged them and while some return, others do not. It's easy for young children to stop enjoying something they previously enjoyed, they have school, homework, friends, other activities and events comes up.

As an adult, I decided what I wanted to commit to. I made the commitment to the art and to myself. A commitment I might have not valued as a child.

In addition to this feat, I am entering my first competition next month! I am excited and very nervous. I will keep training and I will set a new goal!

Thanks for stopping by.

1 comment :

Susan said...

Amazing! My son practices Karata and loves it. It's a great exercise, but I have seen such an improvement on his confidence. I am thinking about doing it too.