Monday, October 19, 2015

Why I Keep Coming Back

By Irene Kim, brown belt

The benefits of training at the Littleton location of the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.

Think of the strongest and best characteristics of the person whom you admire most.  He or she radiates strength of mind, body and spirit, is both respectful and respectable, and demonstrates the utmost in integrity, honesty and good will.  He or she is continually working to improve and succeed.  Dependable, trustworthy, awe-inspiring and confident also may come to mind as apt descriptors.

I have learned that this describes all who instruct and practice at the CTI.  Learning the Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo martial arts has strengthened these characteristics in me.  Different culturally and in practice from karate (described to be more aggressive), self-control is prioritized before self-defense in Taekwondo, which requires the utmost discipline.  Each time I enter the school for class and participate in the events offered, I am surrounded by people who demonstrate these qualities and reflect the top echelon of society.

I sought out the Littleton Taekwondo campus five weeks after delivering my second child.  As a working mother of two, I had little time and energy but wanted to build on my kickboxing skills and maximize my workouts.  The CTI has exceeded this.  As for most of us, time continues to become more and more precious and I seek to maximize every minute of my days.

I am a Medical Speech Pathologist/Therapist working with complex patients who are holding onto life.  I have to arrange my entire work week around getting to class; all at my hospital know that Wednesdays I leave early to pick up my kids from school and daycare and spend time with them before running back out the door.  My husband often makes sushi for the kids that night because I don't eat seafood but will be in martial arts
as they eat it.  The kids know to expect me home just in time to read their bedtime stories after class.  It is a sacrifice and a struggle of extreme time management and fatigue.

So what brings me back?  There is not one part of me that does not benefit from the sacrifice.  It is easy to plop down on a couch and zone out at the end of the workday.  I feel immensely proud of myself for choosing to go as hard as I can, both mentally and physically each and every class. The stress of trying to figure out the best way to help my patients, the emotions of supporting families through life and death decisions, the drain of the hundreds of decisions required every day to raise my children: all of this completely leaves me during class to afterwards, when I am left with a renewed sense of being and energy, a mental calmness and extreme physical release.

Everyone at CTI has such strength and drive that I can sense it just walking through the doors.  Not only is it excellent physical training, I am stronger mentally, more confident and more able to persevere through life's challenges.  I enjoy the challenge and look forward to reaching each level.                              

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