One of the biggest reasons I began this journey is because of the advantages of doing so. Sensei said I would gain not only physical stamina and strength but mental strength as well. He said that through training my self confidence could be restored, and I would grow beyond anything I ever thought possible.
Some of the goals I have are obvious: becoming stronger and minimizing the effect of the cerebral palsy on my body. Learning to defend myself, should a situation arise where I need to do so.
Others are ones set in areas Sensei wishes to see me improve: reducing the frequency and severity of my panic attacks. Allow myself to relax more and enjoy my life even if that means sometimes acting like the child I never got to be. And he has also said he would most like to see me follow in his footsteps and become a sensei.
At first I felt this last goal was unattainable due to my physical challenges but Sensei shared with me that someone whom he knows that holds the title of Grand Master is not only a formidable opponent but wheelchair bound. Knowing that this is one area of my life where my physical disability will become the deciding factor in terms of whether or not an opportunity is open to me is a huge relief. It is also a huge motivator. I know that this is one area where I can go as far as I have the motivation to go. The sky is the limit.
I am determined to become a black belt, then a sensei, and maybe even a Master or Grand Master. It will take hard work, focus and dedication but I know I have what it takes.