Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's a nice girl like me doing in a place like this?

I never thought I would enjoy taekwondo sparring as much as I do.

Here I am: a 46 year-old mother of ten sparring with teenage boys who could really hurt me. But they're not.

They understand and try to follow the words we recite everyday before each class: "...I will practice in the spirit of Taekwondo; with courtesy for fellow students, loyalty for my instructors and respect for my juniors and seniors, Sir!"

I know they're holding back; practicing restraint when they spar this old mom (who's older than most of their moms). I know this because I watch them spar each other and say a prayer of thanksgiving each time I see how hard they can kick.

Why am I enjoying this so much? I ask myself this question after nearly every class. Maybe it's a release of stress and frustrations. Maybe it's the adrenaline that surges through my body each time I face an opponent who could really hurt me. Maybe it's the sheer joy of doing something strange that I never thought I'd do. Maybe it's the relief each time the class ends and I haven't gotten a major injury. It's probably all of the above.
Granted, it's a lot more fun since most of my family members are doing it too. Once my #4 daughter leaves for college in the fall, everyone living at home will be in taekwondo: all eight of us!

We credit our taekwondo instructors with helping our kids to learn better self-control, better discipline and study habits and certainly better physical conditioning. My #5 son has been involved with this studio for nearly 6 years and has recently achieved the rank of 2nd degree black belt decided. When he started he couldn't even do jumping jacks and he was a little squirt of ten years of age. He's now almost 16 and nearly as tall as the instructor. My, how time flies!


Anna said...

what great pictures and text... enjoy the moment!

Sharon said...

Great pics! My sons take Tae Kwon Do, and they're on their blue belt. I won a free trial in a contest at their studio, and I went to two classes with my oldest son. It was so much fun, and I would LOVE to take classes regularly. It would be a big commitment: at least 2 evenings a week and/or Saturday mornings; if I teach CCD this fall that's another evening. I'm considering it, though!