Today marks one month since I began formal training at Equa Do, and about three months since I began studying Combat Hapkido under Sensei. Looking back on all I have done, through the archive that is this blog, it seems like so much longer.
I continue to grow stronger physically and mentally each day. My panic attacks have decreased, I am slowly bringing my weight under control, and I am so much more confident and outspoken than I used to be. I have roughly a full year before I will find myself moving away from this area to finish my bachelor's degree. I can only imagine how far I will come in that time.
One of the biggest things I have noticed is a sense of commitment to this art that I have not had to just about anything else. My parents had me in physical therapy from just about the time I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Because strenuous movement is difficult and painful for someone like me, I hated them every step of the way. Any progress I made was through force. Hapkido, however, is something I chose to undertake on my own. I do my daily workout as instructed, and have not missed a day of training with Sensei since.
Not only that but for the first time in my life I am proud of something I am doing. Master Eric, Sensei, Master Markus and the others don't reward me just because I am disabled. They have made it clear that their respect is something I have EARNED. That makes me very proud. I chose to participate in Gurnee Days this past weekend because I am proud of being a student at Equa Do. No one forced me.
And, anyone who knows me should know that I love taking pictures. However, I don't see the point in taking meaningless photos so I don't do it very often. And when I do, the photos are hardly ever shared with anyone. Well, just look at all the photos that have wound up on this blog. Each one was taken because I genuinely want to share everything I can about Hapkido with both friends and strangers alike. The pictures I post here are also posted to my facebook.
I do my best to act each day in a way that brings honor and dignity to Equa Do, meaning that I carefully control my behavior and bearing. I find myself performing more and more random acts of kindness, simply because I know its the right thing to do. I know it would make my teachers, Sensei especially, proud, and it makes me feel good too.
So, what lies in my future? Well, the sky is the limit. My overall goal is to earn at least a second degree black belt, which would also allow me to become certified as a sensei and open my own dojang. I have years of study to complete before I get there but I know it is something I can do. This winter, as far as what I know right now, I will at last be ready to test for my white belt and dobok. Baby steps, one foot in front of the other. As the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.
More very soon,