On Saturday October 15 we had a belt testing and are pleased to announce that 2 of our students who started out as taekwondo moms (their kids are all black belts) finally earned the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt. It's really tough for adults to start anything new, much less stick with it, so congrats to these 2 ladies for demonstrating perseverance and dedication. Donna Boyer (right) and Karina Bekemeier (left), Black Belts and super cool moms!
As part of our black belt testing requirements, students must write an essay which they read at testing about what being a black belt means to them. This is our favorite part of black belt testing. Every student has something different to say, and it's so heartening to know how much taekwondo means to them. While all of they essays are amazing, I've chosen to highlight the fascinating journey that Karina Bekemeier shared in her essay, which is included below.
When I was a little girl I never wanted to be a princess, I just wanted to run fast and fight for justice. I wanted to be a super hero. But I also wanted to be a ballerina.
Well I never got be either of those. My whole life has been a combination of both feelings of super strength and fragility.
Growing up during the worst time of terrorism in Peru and having two very strict parents I had to learn to be tough. But it wasn’t easy.
I’m a 92 pound, 4.10” small woman that grew up in a society that constantly told me to watch and learn to clean and cook so I can take care of my husband when I grew up. Fortunately, my father always told me to study and to get a career so that I can be independent. I did listen to my dad, but things weren’t that simple.
Being a woman in this world is not easy. We have to fight harder to get the jobs that we want, to get the respect that we deserve and we have to learn to stand up for ourselves with fear of being harassed for it.
Doing taekwondo has brought my childhood fantasies of superhero back. It’s fun to kick and punch and break boards. But it’s much more than that. Being a black belt means that no matter how big or small you are, you can do it. We can all work with our individual strengths and overcome our weaknesses and fears.
It means we can walk through life with our heads up a little higher and do always what’s right for ourselves and the people around us.
I want to give special thanks to my children for being my inspiration, you are amazing! I want to thank my friend Donna for convincing me to do this and for the years of fun together in class and thanks to my other mama friends that joined a little after, it has been a pleasure.
Thank you Jim so much for supporting me on this, for being early home from work to kick me out the door to come to class because you knew that even though I was exhausted, coming here would make me happy.
Thank you so much to you Master and Mrs. Navarrete for being such dedicated great teachers, and not only that but also friends to rely on.
I want to end with a quote from Dr. Seuss that I bumped into recently:
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out”.