How Taekwondo Gave Me a New Year’s Resolution
No Special Uniform Required!
by Jennifer Humble
Children are yelling in front of me. Controlled, deliberate yells. I love it!
Embedded in those yells are hours of hard work, determination and pride. White uniforms with colored belts signifying rank move effortlessly across a matted floor. Leading the motion is their Taekwondo instructor-a conductor of motion with children as his musical instruments. Each cared for, cherished and finely tuned.
Watching patiently as class proceeds, I have time to reflect. My mind wanders to New Year’s Resolutions. My resolution each year has always been “I don’t make resolutions”. After a month resolutions are distant memories like an old pile of magazines destined to the recycle bin. It’s fun to start something, but with age comes the reality that merely starting something should not be the goal.
Chants of “Never Give Up” fill the room and draw my eyes to the rainbow of belts. A white belt is struggling on a move and everyone is cheering him on. They are all on his side. Frustration is replaced with determination. Success.
Success. Isn’t that what we all want? Could the key to breaking my New Year’s Resolution debacle be staring me in the face? I have not been an active participant in the lessons, but haven’t I learned something observing?
It appears I have been learning, perhaps my observations will guide my resolution.
Never Give Up
If a goal seems unobtainable, grab a friend. You need an encourager who works on the side lines and challenges you. Someone to remind you that you are capable of more than you imagined.
Gaze at the Rainbow of Belts
The goal is a Black Belt, but it’s not achieved in one day, week or year. Each victory is rewarded with a different color. If the main goal seems too far away then gaze at the rainbow and focus on the closest color. Small steps achieve the greatest results.
Follow the Lead of a Conductor
Reaching for a goal, but don’t know how to grasp it? Find a conductor, an instructor, a master of the art who will care for, cherish and finely tune you. Allow yourself to be guided. Accept that you don’t have all the answers.
Show your power. Don’t hold back. Use it wisely. The children are not randomly yelling, they are expressing a controlled deliberate action. It is the result of practice, patience and perseverance.
Students who show up early are given the privilege to be assistants. Those who attend on a constant basis move through the colors more effectively. You need to “Be There” also. Offer life your full mental, physical and spiritual capability. Put down the phone for that personal face-to-face conversation. Get up early to claim the day as yours. Just show up.
Games are played after an intense practice. Life is serious, but enjoy it. Relax, laugh with others. Don’t forget that tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities. Embrace play with the same fervor as you do work. Make time for it.
Yes, it appears that I have been learning. My observations have been fruitful!
Success. I see it approaching with a huge smile as my daughter takes off her sparring gear. You don’t have to physically participate in Taekwondo to learn something. Observing also yields rewards. This year I do have a New Year’s Resolution!
My resolution is determination.
Determination to not give up on what is important. Determination to see small victories as successes so I can yell in excitement.
Determination to just “Be There”.
Determination to live life to the fullest and find time to play. Isn’t that what a resolution entails? Being determined to make a change-to make radical changes that in turn change you.
What New Year’s Resolutions are you making this year?