Spread Your Wings.

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by matt.m, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. matt.m

    matt.m Senior Master

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    Wow, I have been watching the olympics for the past several days. It is bittersweet watching the Judo live feeds online. In my competition pics it shows me at the Olympic trials for 1996.
    Although, life throws curve balls. You have to make lemonade out of lemons right? Well the thing is this, had I got to compete who knows where I would be. Would I be like Mike Swain and promoting Judo mats in Black Belt magazine? Would I have books and DVD's written and done making money hand over fist? Who knows. Actually, I don't really care. In single elimination I went in with a busted rib and a taped shoulder and was not the best that day.
    However, I tell you for all sincere certainty the following: Even with all my disabilities; Knees, Back, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and all the little neat side effects of. I feel as though I couldn't be happier.
    I have a great wife and family, the coolest little dog name Louis and well I couldn't ask for a better relationship with my dad and parent in laws. To top it off, instead of "Needing" a huge dojang with a ton of students and all that stuff. I am happy with the "Dungeon" of a school I instruct judo at. The core of the Black Belts in St. L, well we don't do it for the money. We do it for the rent and utilities. We do it to build outstanding character in our students and let them grow as needed and a belt promotion is more of an afterthought to them. In our school yes it is dictated to call the black belts sir or ma'am. However a new white belt gets treated the same as the red belts. All are meant to feel welcome and that is how it should be.
    It almost seems as though I have gone full circle. I went from a good judoka and freestyle wrestler. However I sucked at High School Sports. I became a multiple time gold medalist in Judo and Greco Roman Wrestling while serving in the Marines. Now, I haven't competed and really don't care to. It is all about passing it down and paying it forward for me. My father taught me the value of sweat equity and what could be achieved if you believed hard enough and trained hard enough. It served me well as a Sergeant in the Marines and is serving me better now.
    All that from a skinny little kid who was always picked last for kickball. I was always told in school I would never do anything great in life, athletically or otherwise. I never really paid attention and just stayed on the beaten path of my own beating drum.
    That is the meaning behind the song "Spread Your Wings" by Queen.
    Now the big question.........who has had or felt similiarly? I would love to hear your story.
     
  2. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Never tried to qualify for anything like the Olympics but I once had dreams of a large school filled with students. Over the years I learned to appreciate my "Dungeon" and the small class I had.
    These days I teach only those I wish to teach and am happy teaching out of the barn attached to the house ( NO extra money paid out for rent)
     
  3. ProTaekwondo

    ProTaekwondo Yellow Belt

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    What an inspiring story!
     
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  4. newGuy12

    newGuy12 Master of Arts

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    The "I could have been a contender" line of thinking is very dangerous, I believe. Its better to have the type of thinking that you illustrate in your post, much better.

    Funny, I was always picked last for kickball (and other games). This was before TKD, of course. Later, I lost interest in the games and all. TKD is borne of practicality, not kicking some silly ball about for no good reason.
     
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  5. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Master of Arts

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    "I cried because I had no shoes, till I saw a man who had no feet".

    That's a true saying. I hope everyone here sits at the table with their family or friends and see that they have food on the table and a roof over their heads, and that all else is just extra blessings.

    newGuy12,

    I was the bench warmer in little leauge. Now at the high school reuniions, I'm the stud. All those muscle kids now have pot bellies. Funny how things work out.

    But matt is right. It's not about money. If you don't do it for the love of it, sooner or later you will get tired of it. You listen to your own drummer.

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
    perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
    Let him step to the music which he hears,
    however measured or far away. "

    -- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)123
     
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