January 26, 2011

The Family That Kicks Together-Sticks Together!

The Kellys  Oct. 2008
Front row: Mallory, Trent, Spencer
Back Row: Joe, Kris, Jace, Dani, Tyler

I went back to work this month.  
Is it a job or an adventure hmmmmm?
I’m working at our family owned and operated martial arts studio.  
The front desk
My family has been kicking in the martial arts for about twenty years.
It all started when my husband and my oldest son at 7 yrs. old began training.  
Well to make a long story as short as possible......
Tyler competing in forms

In 1997, we opened our own martial arts studio in a building behind our home.  My husband taught classes in his “spare time” in the evenings.  Eventually our own children and several students also became instructors. 
             Spencer practicing self-defense 

I used to run a preschool in the building during the day then move all my equipment out of the way and help run the studio in the evening.  I look back now and think, “Wow! how did I ever do it.”  I definitely don’t have enough immunities or energy now for four year olds.
In October of 2008, we moved to a building on Main Street and then to our current location a year ago.  My son took over the management of the studio. (We opened a couple weeks before I was diagnosed with mm.  I remember painting the walls and complaining how tired I was. :) Fortunately at that time, Joe was able to step back and spend more time caring for our family and me.  What a blessing!
Tournament sparring

Well that’s the history in a nutshell.  Maple Mountain Martial Arts continues to do well and as it grows a decision was made that the business needed a “studio mom.” Someone to run the front desk, tie Little Ninja’s belts, answer the phones, answer the questions, and just be there to meet and greet students and parents among other things.   So I’m now working at Maple Mountain Martial Arts for 2-3 hours, three to four afternoons a week.  It has been great for me to get out among people again and have somewhere to go everyday.    
 Jace after testing for his black belt and 
Mallory earning her 2nd degree black belt.  
Joe also tested for his 3rd degree that day.
(you don't see brother/sister hugs like that everyday....very rare!)

This isn't exactly what I earned a college degree for, however I am very blessed to have such great working conditions and there are plenty of "perks". My son is  now my "boss"  I work with my daughter; she is one of the instructors, and I take my youngest son with me.  He does his homework there and attends class. 

Myeloma medication-dexamethasone is still wrecking havoc with my energy levels.  I battle fatigue daily and bone pain whenever it decides to appear.  Having a job helps to put cancer on the back burner.  Just what I need. 

Another view of the studio.  We are in the process of remodeling the basement to add additional space for classes.

Who would have thought any of this would be possible when my husband and son put on  crisp new uniforms and clean white belts twenty years ago.  

We have definitely had ups and downs, but over the past few years our back-yard business, our family, and I have grown in many ways.  Our lives have exceeded those white belt expectations and our family continues to kick together and stick together.


Linda said...

I love this post and the fact that you all operate a family business so close to home! What a blessing you must be to your community and all the kids you come in contact with. I know it has to be hard to work at times, but as you said, what a wonderful distraction from pain and the down side of living with MM! I love the song "Hope" that was playing on your blog...so upbeat. Keep on kicking!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I don't get music because I'm abroad! :O

Wow what a great family business. It is good to back to work isn't it? Although sometimes I think - I want to knit but then when I had all the time to knit I wanted to go back to work! ;D

Lori Puente said...

Wow! Love this!

Melinda said...

What a perfect job. I bet it does do you good to be out. Hope you continue to feel better and get your strength back.You continue to be a great inspiration.
Take Care

billbauknecht said...

So glad I read our story. I am a 15 year survivor of MM and also a martial artist for 40 yrs. Though my professional dojo is gone, I continue to teach Uechi ryu karate and self defense courses in my basement. I hold the rank of 7th degree black belt kyoshi master in Uechi ryu karate. Strong mind and body relates to my continued remission. Best to you, your family and your family of martial arts students.
Sensei Bill,
Cape Cod, MA

Susie Hemingway said...

How wonderful you are back to work and what a fantastic business!

Fourteenth Year Cancerversary

              My husband and I at my 40th High School Reunion.                                                    Am I seriously that old?! ...