Karen Attrill, 1st Dan, Hwa Rang Taekwon-Do Academy
Preface: Mrs C Young-Jasper, Hwa Rang TKD Academy Many potential students feel it is necessary to get fit before they join in a TKD class. Or they feel that they are too old to start. With kids, job, and other responsibilities it can be hard to find time to work out and fit in the two TKD classes a week. Here is a great example of how a working mum, in the ‘super vets’ age bracket managed to get fit, train twice a week and teach a mini kids class.
I love that end of year break. My work closes for two weeks and after the rush and busy-ness it feels so good to slow down and rest, and ponder, and breath. It was during this time I could see an opportunity to include some exercise in my life. I love to exercise. I didn’t do it enough. I still have one dependant child at home and that makes finding time to exercise difficult. However, as a returning Taekwon-Do student, becoming fit and strong had become a recurring thought for me. Turning it into action was the challenge.
I decided I would work out in the local reserve. Literally just turn up and start exercising. I posted on Facebook inviting anyone along to this free workout. Fortunately, I also mentioned this to my instructor and she came along to our first work out. Of course! So on that first holiday day, somewhere between Christmas and New Year we met at the park. Mrs Young brought along her phone with a Tabata Workout App and a few pieces of equipment. This was new for me. Together we completed a workout of eight exercises. I loved it! We made a time to do it again and this time I invited a couple of friends to join us. From there we have become a group of committed women who work-out three mornings a week, every week. My daughter comes along to the 7.15am sessions. A 7.15am workout within walking distance to home means we’re home by 8.05am. That’s enough time to get ready for school and work and be there by 8.45am.
I’ve gone from being a Mum who couldn’t find the time to train myself to a woman who works out three mornings a week with friends and attends class training as a student every Monday night. I swim lengths at the local pool while my daughter is having her lesson on a Wednesday afternoon and I continue to get to body balance once or twice a week (have done for years as work allows) and I squeeze in a private group session every week with my instructor. This weekly group session (senior training) is a valuable way to work on myself. The positive mentoring nature of the session means I’m prepared to try everything that’s suggested. It’s not every day a woman ‘of a certain age’ is asked to kick a target the way we do. The magic here is having a mentor that believes in you until you believe in yourself again. This makes me a better, more confident senior belt at training and the culture of positive mentoring continues as I then welcome and encourage the potential in other women at our Dojang.
I’m not writing this to skite or to say look at me. I’m writing this in the hope that another Mum might read it and see some hope for herself to get out and exercise and train. The rewards have been so much greater than I could have imagined. From the very first day I’ve felt energised and therefore able to complete more in my home life. I’ve built relationships with local women in my community. We have entered a local Fun Walk Run Event as a group. I’ve been happier. The happiest I’ve been in years actually. You just have to be with all those good chemicals being released naturally through your body. I’m stronger and I am working every day to achieve goals I now have the courage to set for myself. Not my kids. Not my work. Not my home. For me. Goals that I won’t achieve until late 2018. It starts now.
PS – Now that it’s Autumn and the park is damp in the mornings we workout in my lounge and dining room three mornings a week. Where there’s a will there’s a way.