2012-10-25 / General Stories

Tae Kwon Do-ing

Six months ago, I realized I had a choice. I could continue going to my son’s Tae Kwon Do lessons, sitting on the sidelines and watching him work his way to the black belt he is determined to earn. Or, I could bite the bullet, realize the value in the exercise, buy myself a pair of white pajamas, and jump right in.

I had to be there anyway, I might as well make good use of the time and get a good workout.

As a result of this insanity, I learned some things. Not only did I learn where my sweat glands were located - under each breast, in case you are wondering - but I learned about every deficiency I never knew I had.

I learned that I had great balance, as long as both my feet were on the ground. I learned that push-ups should not only be measured by how many one can do, but factored in should be how large of an upper torso one has to haul around with them. Matronly women are at a distinct disadvantage here.

I learned that Tae Kwon Do class is the only place you can yell like a deranged Tarzan and not attract law enforcement. Yelling is absolutely my favorite pastime. Ask my kids.

I learned that wearing makeup while attempting a spin kick doesn’t make my performance look any better. In fact, wearing makeup is a futile effort while tottering around the training floor. I still look like a Weeble wearing PJs.

I would like to say that my goal is to eventually earn a black belt. After all, a Senior Grandmaster once said, “A black belt is simply a white belt who never quit.” A pithy sentiment, but you can’t argue with the logic.

For the time being, though, my goal is simply to make it through each class with all of my parts still functioning the way they were when I arrived. I might add here that this is not such a lofty goal, as my parts barely work consistently anyway. Making them lurch around a dojo for a couple of hours each week could only be beneficial.

Some people might think I’m stark-raving mad to start training for a black belt at my age. They THINK that, but what they actually SAY is “Good for you!” If they ever said what they actually thought, I would say they were right: I’m not training for a black belt, I’m simply training for the next belt.

I have no illusions about my prowess with regard to martial arts. In a real confrontation, I would be better off with a can of mace. However, I intend to get better at it.

One day, I may be able to fend off an attacker simply by using my fearsome yell or surprising him with a well-positioned fighting stance. The surprise will come from the fact that it will be the first and only time he’s ever seen a fifty-year old woman position 80% of her weight on her back leg and the other 20% is hanging off the back of her arms.

For now, I’m going to continue to practice my form, even though all of my senior moments arrive while I’m being assessed on it.

I’m going to kick as high as I can and hope that any would-be assailant is one of Snow White’s dwarves.

I’m going to perform as many jumping jacks and jump front kicks as my obstinately leaky bladder will allow, and I’m going to yell like Tarzan’s jungle is on fire!

If that will get me my next belt, it will be an honest-to-God miracle. If not, well. orange is a pretty color.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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