After 13 years it finally occurred to me last night that there really isn't a "Taekwondo Season". I am of course speaking from a completely competitive stand point. For 6 years now Samantha has been focused solely on the competition aspect of TKD and up until the beginning of this month, the only time off she has taken was a month or so off when she suffered a concussion. This weekend is a big Team-X Slumber party. Sam's first time hanging with her teammates in a few weeks. She's not allowed to practice with them but she wants to feel part of the team still and wish them all well in Orlando so her mom and I took her down to Team-X World Headquarters last night and we will be picking her up tomorrow afternoon. We got there last night and watched the last hour or so of practice. All of these kids (ages 10-20) have been working so hard, non-stop for years and I sat there watching in amazement at their commitment to the sport that they love so much. They are all so skilled and just amazing to watch what they do but then when it is time for a break or after class they are all limping and hobbling around, barely able to stand. When break is done though they are back at it and you would never know the pain that they are experiencing as they bounce, jump and spin around kicking either each other or some target. It was amazing for me to watch, as somewhat of an outsider now, and I really got a whole new perspective even after just a short time of 3 weeks now that I have not been there watching them day after day. As I watched though I got to thinking. Every major sport has an off-season. A period of 2-6 months where yes, the athletes train to stay in shape, but they take it easy at the same time and allow their bodies to heal. But when exactly is the Taekwondo off-season? I mean, we live in California and I can promise you that on any weekend of the year if I wanted to, I could find a TKD competition to sign my kid up for. And even if you only compete in the "Major" events, I can find one of those every month or 2 between USAT or AAU or some popular regional or statewide event. So the question is, if you are a competition team or have a competition team, do you have a competition season and an off-season or do you train year round? And I do understand the concept of taking it easy at times and building up to a big event and peaking etc. But does your team ever take say 3 months off to just simply recover? Because I am starting to realize just how important that is to do. Unfortunately, I might be too late to save my own kid.