4 black belts. Not an easy path for any of us. There were times I thought Kor-Am Master Lindeberg would kick the entire family out.
First we had Mr. Antonio who at 4-years old loved to jump on classmates, cartwheel back to his place in line, and once there distract others until it was his turn again.
Master Lindeberg agreed that it was best that I didn’t watch Antonio while he was in class since it made me cry. I would go for a run instead.
The plan was for Crystel to start one year later to give Antonio time to advance on his own timing. Well, that wasn’t happening. We started her anyway.
Crystel’s kihap (“Taekwondo`s spirited shout) was just a bit louder than a newborn chick … for years. Her defense was definitely going to be her best offense.
She often wanted to quit Tae Kwon Do and Jody and I told her that she could after she successfully tested for her next rank. Each time she tested and passed she felt so good that she didn’t want to quit until after she started learning her new form. But then … she couldn’t quit until she successfully tested for her next rank … she started catching on after a couple of years and she successfully quit after receiving her red belt.
After a year she started again. When she got to be a candidate for black belt I joined so she could humiliate me and feel good about it.
I thought that I might be the first no belt, who stayed a no belt, because when people were standing frontwards – I was backwards, if they were east – I was west. That certainly did keep my children engaged. They found a new joy in Tae Kwon Do.
I kept showing up though and Master Lindeberg was kind enough to allow me to continue training even though I was slower than others in catching on.
I must say that I spent extra time working on a menacing look while placing my fist into my palm to scare the little kids even though that wasn’t part of the curriculum. Unfortunately, you don’t get a trophy for looking tough at little people.
Jody watched all of us get our black belts and then joined figuring if the three of us could do it without getting kicked out of Tae Kwon Do surely she could.
Now since we are all black belts, the only hope for me is to keep working on my look because that sweet girl of mine wants to kick me in the head (and has), Antonio does pay attention, and Jody is in my age group. I might be sparring her some day in a tournament and god help me if she wins.
Earning a Black Belt is just the beginning.