Friday, September 7, 2012

Finally.....Black Belt

On August 18, I attained my goal of 1st Degree Black Belt in TaeKwon Do through the International TaeKwonDo Federation. Almost my entire family was present, and those that were unable to come, were there in spirit! Of all the things I've experienced in my life, I have to say that this is one of the most satisfying. I began my TKD journey in August, 2008; you can see it has taken me four years to go from white belt to black belt. Now, I am on a new journey...that of becoming a 2nd Degree Black Belt. The minimum amount of time allowed is 2 years. I have no doubt that someday I will get matter how long it takes.

One valuable lesson I learned in this quest, is not to worry one little bit of what people think. If a person really wants to accompish matter what it is....perseverence is key. Most of the students in my class are teenagers. Many times I had to ignore how high their kicks were or their adept moves in sparring. I just kept reminding myself that each day I practiced, I was becoming better and closer to my goal.

And......I now belong to the most awesome family of martial artists. I immediately had an overwhelming sense of belonging to a special group of people......It's truly the most wonderful feeling to put on my black belt and step out onto the floor....Kiyap....


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Woof.....Is That a Belgian Sheep Dog or a Bear??

Recently, Tim and I spent a weekend in Dallas. It was one of those rare occasions where the parents get a couple of romantic days alone. Concurrently, the American Kennel Association was in town with a three day dog show event. Well, how could we two dog lovers pass this up? We found ourselves totally captivated by the magic of this event......We were excited to go, but had no idea we would be so entranced and caught up in the event.
Our first day there, I actually found myself sitting next to a brown and white show dog.....a Whippet to be exact. Now, I had never seen a whippet except in photographs.......This animal was quite large, but as thin as one could imagine....the skinniest dog I had ever seen, with a pointy nose and angular face as well. I found myself looking straight into this oddly beautiful animal's eyes, the whole time marveling at his composure and confidence.He totally mastered his space.....he belonged here; this was his kingly realm and I was privileged to be sitting to his immediate right. The experience was so unexpected and unique for me that I won't soon erase the image from my thoughts. Now, the whippet was only one of hundreds of show dogs that had qualified for this regal display. Dogs of every imaginable breed were represented at the three day event. Leashed canines followed their masters/trainers from one end of Dallas Market Hall to the other. Sporting dogs, hounds, toys dogs, non-sporting dogs, terriers, you name it....they were all there, immaculately groomed to look their absolute best......Not only did they look sparkling, they were so well behaved that that their owners appeared to require more disciplining than than their obedient four legged prodigy. I admit I was quite impressed with this air of dog civility, and after only a short while, found myself comfortable in this strange world where the dogs were the center of attention far outdistancing the humans in beauty and grace....