My journey came to a crashing halt in 2008 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma; cancer of the bone marrow. I immediately begin treatment including two stem cell transplants and three years of chemotherapy and maintenance medications. My life, goals, and dreams for the future were all put on hold with the real possibility that my life would be cut short. I dealt with extreme fatigue, intense bone pain, kidney and liver damage, cataracts, and a myriad of other side effects. It took many years to recover. Although Multiple Myeloma is incurable I have been blessed with the gradual return of good health. I am one of the lucky few.
Five years ago my oldest son asked if I would be willing to help him at Maple Mountain Arts studio which he owned on main street. I began helping out with new students and office tasks. My energy level was just returning and some days it would take all that I could muster to make it down to the studio for a few hours but it was a blessing to have some responsibility and a place to gently recover.
As my health returned my goals and dreams for the future came back into focus. I began teaching four years ago at the Jr. High, and am now teaching full time at the High School. Although I was busy with a new career the thought of earning a blackbelt once again became a possibility.
So with some persuasion and encouragement from my husband and son I once again donned a uniform, dug up my old blue belt and started over, re-learning the forms. I was feeling old, out of shape, and very hesitant but I was back on my journey and decided I would just take it one step at a time.
This journey has been tough! Everything is a challenge from memorizing forms, stretching out limbs, to learning to punch, block and kick with a class full of teenagers-some of whom I have taught in school.
Life has thrown me some pretty good reasons to walk away from this goal but the chance to join my husband and children in the rank of black belt has driven me to continue this journey. To overcome the challenges put in my path and to relish this opportunity to realize my dream that began a “thousand miles ago.”
|The chance to join my family as a black belt finally became a reality!
|So grateful for the love and support from my family!