Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What I've Learned So Far in Taekwondo: Earning My White/Yellow Belt

 I received my white/yellow belt in my Taekwondo class yesterday.  There was an awards ceremony of sorts last Friday, but I was up in Park City helping set up the Utah State Odyssey of the Mind tournament that night, so I didn't know I had earned a special award: Outstanding Basic Tester.  This award is given to an individual in each age category and level bracket, so I earned this award for the adult category (teenage+) and basic level (white though yellow/green).

For the Outstanding Basic Tester adult award, it was between myself and a teenage girl who is seriously fierce and has such a wonderful, friendly personality.  We both ended up getting the adult award, the only tie, because the black belts who tested us couldn't come to an agreement.  Mainly we both had the same intensity, but I had better technique and she had better mobility.  Yeah, the mobility is something I'm working on.  There's so many ways I can grow.  Great motivation :0)

But still, I was so worried last week!  Thinking I may not even advance!  Goodness, I worry over things I shouldn't worry about. Got to stop that.  At the same time worrying kept me focused and passionate over what I was doing, and making sure I was doing it right.  So there's room for worrying, just within reason and sanity.

I also completed the testing last week in pain.  On my left big-toe, doing the first kicking pass in the beginning of testing, a couple layers of skin peeled off, reveling a raw under-layer.  Technically I should have asked for a band-aid, since everything is done bare foot, but I didn't.  I completed every skill in testing regardless of how I felt.

Maybe that was stupid.  Maybe I should have said something, but I never did.  And I didn't just survive, I scored really high on all the components.

It's been awhile since I've fought through pain like that, but I'm actually glad for it, because the experience reminded me of who I am and what I'm capable of.  It feels good completing a difficult task and facing fears.

 Mainly I'm learning to trust and push myself.  I feared the dive roll during testing, but I didn't just perform the task, I did so with good technique, rolling along my shoulder just as I'm supposed to.  I am nervous, though, for when I'm expected to dive roll over objects, which I believe is around the green belt.

Another thing I've learned?  Doing Taekwondo isn't going to help me lose any weight.  In these three months I've lost 0 pounds, for realzies.  It's my eating.  You can't lose weight without combining healthy exercise with healthy eating.

But I'm realizing how much my focus shouldn't be about weight loss.  I tell myself it's not my focus, but it is.  My focus has got to be health.  Plain, simple health: Energy, strength, positivity, endurance, flexibility, feeling good, etc.

Yesterday my Taekwondo master brought her 83 year old Mom to class.  She has really bad sclerosis of the spine, and yet she's able to stand up straight.  Technically, according to her Doctor, most people with her condition are confined to a wheelchair.  I worked with her on blocks, taking turns, and I was really inspired.

I have goals like fitting into smaller jeans and so forth, but I realized what my main goal is: when I'm 83 years old I want to be healthy, have vitality, and be strong.  I don't like where I physically am at 32, but starting now, focusing on positive and proper health goals, I can totally be rocking it as I venture into age 33 and beyond.  Health starts now, no matter where I am or what I've done.  Health starts now. 

And I'm going to put God first in this process.  I haven't yet, depending entirely on myself.  I have a health journal and on the cover are the words: "Love God and live with joy!"  Isn't that wonderful?  I love it.  Everyday as I cursive my thoughts I'm going to see this phrase, and it will remind me what's really important.  Of what my priorities should be.  Loving God and living with joy.


  1. Great post! I'm super impressed with your mad Tae skills. I think I'd be too self-conscious to even do martial arts, unless it was Tae Chi, and I was in a big group of people moving very slowly. Ha ha!

    1. I really need to do Tai Chi, that would be fun :0) I hear it's super good for the brain, mood, and stress.

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