Friday, March 8, 2013

A CTI Taekwondo Birthday

By Hope Morgan, 1st dan

I was a ten year old orange belt when I had my birthday party at the Colorado Taekwondo Institute, Westminster Campus.  I remember thinking it was the absolute best thing in the world – to be able to show off my “skills” to my friends, to combine such a significant part of my life with such an important celebration.  Now, as a seventeen year old black belt, I assist my mom and instructor with birthday parties for their younger students.

Just recently, a student of my mom’s, Lydia Willis, had her seventh birthday party at  the CTI, and I had the pleasure to help.  I got to watch her have the time of her life!  I got to see how being “black belt for a day” and working out up front made her ecstatic.  It took me back to my own birthday, and how that experience as such a young child impacted me in the most surprising ways.  It wasn’t hard to see how pumped up Lydia was.

Hope Morgan and Lydia
It’s always been tradition that the instructor helps the student cut the cake with a long sword.  Before the party had begun, Lydia had gone to her mom and said, “Mom, I get to cut the cake with a big sword!”  I don’t blame her for being so excited; it was definitely one of the most memorable moments from my party.  I really wanted to be the one to share that experience with Lydia, and I had to practically beg my mom to let me do the honors.  When you think about it, that one slice only lasts for a minute, but it’s something unique that any kid would be excited to do.  And Lydia was definitely excited.  I don’t think she stopped smiling and giggling throughout the whole thing!

After the party, my instructor, Master Albrechtson, pulled up a picture of he and I cutting my cake with the sword on my birthday that happened so long ago.  Next to it, he pulled up a picture of Lydia and I cutting her cake.  It was so insanely crazy to see!  I got to share one of my best days with Master Albrechtson, and now I get the gratification of being that iconic figure in a younger child’s life.  One doesn’t grow out of those memories.  Now my wish is for Lydia to continue her journey through Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo, and someday be the one assisting or teaching her own student’s birthday parties. Maybe one day we can add a picture of a Ms. Willis helping an excited student cut the cake.

A Taekwondo birthday party at the CTI is really one of the best things for a child to experience.  It brings out that pride in students, allows them to showcase their skills to their friends and family, and enjoy a fun celebration working out with their loved ones.  While I may be “too old” for a birthday party at the CTI, I will always have the pleasure of sharing ones with younger students at my campus, and that in itself is the most rewarding thing I could ask for.

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