A post over here reminded me of how I got started in karate and other physical activities.

Growing up I was the least athletic person around. I was a pro at getting OUT of gym class. Got a male gym teacher? Just tell him your having cramps. He doesn’t want to hear any more and will dismiss you from class. I also kept an ace bandage on my book-bag and was forever “hurting my ankle”. Wrap it up and limp a bit, along with a knack for forging my mom’s signature, and I’m out of that class. I did take a year of dance in high school, but that was more about performing and less about being physical. My dance teacher hated ballet and refused to teach it. Score!

When I was a kid, I knew a lot of other kids who took karate. My friends brother’s mostly. I would watch class in awe of these kids and really wanted to tr y a class. I never did because my extreme shyness overwhelmed me. I didn’t want to be the only person out there that didn’t know what they were doing. Also, the ‘Kiai’, totally brought attention to you and I was all about blending in with the background. “Please don’t look at me” was my personal motto.

I met my husband at age 19. Shortly after, I met his brother. His brother had been in a really bad car accident years before and was told he’d be lucky if he walked again. It was during physical therapy that he took up karate, then akido, and judo, and tae kwon do, ju-jitsu, etc. Before long not only was he defying the Docs who said he may never walk, he held a black belt in 5 areas of martial arts. He’s just gotten better in the 12 years I’ve known him.

My first visit to Texas to see him and his wife, he took us to his class. I didn’t make it through eth warm up, but was fascinated just the same. I told him that I would love to get into it but “Just didn’t have the time”. That’s when he said something that stuck with me all these years. “If you want it bad enough, you’ll make the time”. He was right.

At age 25, I walked into a karate dojo to sign my 6 yr old up for classes. While there, I was told that they also offer a fitness kickboxing class I might be interested in. I blew it off for a while and just took my son to class. Eventually, I started the kickboxing class, and immediately fell in love with it. The kickboxing instructor was also my son’s Sensei so he incorporated a lot of karate into the class. Two years later, at age 27, I was a white belt in the beginner karate class.

Now, at age 31, I’m a red belt looking forward to testing for my Red/Brown (halfway between red and brown). I would have never guessed I would get to this point all those years ago when I was faking an injury to get out of gym class, but I’m so glad I’m here.