“Hello what’s your name? I’m Miss Anderson. How old are you? Have you ever done taekwondo before? No? Well we’re going to have some FUN today!”
I love taekwondo but it wasn’t always so easy. My mom tells me I have Sensory Integrated Dysfunction (she helped me name it). I didn’t learn to walk or talk until I was older than when other kids do and I wasn’t able to eat normal food until I was 5. I went to a lot of doctors and had therapists help me learn stuff like other kids. It was hard because there were a lot of things I couldn’t do. But there were a lot of things I could. My mom told me she took me to the Ft. Worth stock show and all I wanted to do was stand and watch kids lassoing a fake bull. For 4 hours all I did was stand there and watch. I even ate lunch there just not talking and just watching the other kids lassoing the bull. All I wanted to do was watch the other kids try it over and over again until I felt ready to try. And at 4 hours I walked up there and lassoed the bull on my very first try and I kept doing it over and over perfect because I had been practicing it in my mind watching the other kids mistakes. My mom says that’s how I work. It’s okay because everyone is different.
On Thursday, May 24, 2007 my best friend Willie and I graduated from preschool and our moms signed us up for a trial taekwondo class for a summer activity for us to do together. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of something fun to do. But I really liked it and wanted to keep going. It’s where I met 4 year old Jimmy Hollon who was always getting in trouble, forgetting his belt and getting sent out of class for acting up. It’s really neat to see him grow up with me in the years. I was the only girl in the Little Dragons class but I really didn’t mind. There were lots of teenage girl junior trainees who I really liked and looked up to a lot. I really liked their red collars. I wasn’t very good at taekwondo and I fell over a lot and was very clumsy. But I wanted to keep at it. I really liked the forms because they were in patterns and I like when things are in order. I liked trying to walk on the ‘railroad tracks’ (walking the tape on the floor). In August I got to do my very first taekwondo tournament (video of me when I was really little here: http://goo.gl/6s4RrB). After that I wanted to move to the juniors class because I felt I didn’t need to be in the little kid class anymore because I kept knocking over the small bags and it wasn’t much of a challenge. So I got courage and asked all by myself if I could be in the juniors class and that I knew I could do it. I loved it. I started doing Ki-Bon everywhere I went. At the store and at the library and when I started kindergarten I would do it every day at recess. My very first belt test I met Master Strickland. His voice was loud and he was a big giant scary man. I was afraid to look at him at the testing. I had just turned 6 years old didn’t know where to stand, how to line up and I really couldn’t do jumping jacks at all! (http://goo.gl/w6Rho8)
I tried to do soccer and softball but I wasn’t as good as the other girls and I didn’t get the ball a lot. But I loved taekwondo because I could do it. So I kept going and kept testing for belts. I made some friends like Annie and Michelle Hollon. I really liked Annie as she always picked me up and walked around with me. I took class with Alex Fulco and Jordan Davenport and really liked them too. And I was scared of the Cleveland girls because they were awesome and scary! I remember Joe Woodard from Saturday belt testing’s at other schools. I tried out in 2009 for the demo team and made it. I loved it so much and got to do the Dallas national tournament (http://goo.gl/5KNZ3F). I was the smallest, youngest and lowest rank. But it really doesn’t matter how young you are as long as you try hard and want it so that you can do it. And I got my black belt at Christmas and was so happy. I used the Yoda quote in my black belt essay too! (http://goo.gl/EsF7pA)
One time I got bullied at school. I didn’t have very many friends outside taekwondo. One kid who really didn’t like me pushed me hard off the monkey bars at recess and my scapular bone in my shoulder got broken. I wasn’t able to do taekwondo for a while and I was sad. Then when I was able to do taekwondo again I had my first no change and it was really hard and I cried. That was when I met Drew Cain. He was holding the yellow board when I couldn’t break it on my 3rd try. I almost didn’t want to keep doing taekwondo. But then I thought about it and thought it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you just keep going. Because of the bullying I had to change schools. I did a demo for the talent show at school but I got made fun of and one boy said he was going to break my arm the way I broke the wood in my demo. It was really hard but I never stopped loving taekwondo. It was where everyone was nice to me. Everyone always cheered for me to do my best. They are my family. I even got to be in a newspaper story about taekwondo and it made me feel good (http://goo.gl/Dt61hH). I got really sick for a while and got a virus in my hip and had to do physical therapy. I couldn’t do taekwondo and couldn’t test for instructor for a while. I had to quit gymnastics that I had just started because I wanted to learn to do taekwondo flips. And when I was able to test for instructor I did not pass the first time I tried. I was really sad but I just tried again and made it.
Some of my favorite things about taekwondo are going to tournaments. I got a 1st place medal one time when I was a brown belt and I have it up on my wall with all my 17 taekwondo belts I have earned in 8 years. I really like belt testing’s but sometimes they are scary but I always felt good after. I also love making up demos to music. When I was in the 6th grade last year at my new school the whole school talent show crowd cheered for me (http://goo.gl/mfEHXo). But my favorite part about taekwondo is being a trainee instructor and getting to help out with classes all the summers and during the week. I really like helping smaller kids pass their belt tests. I feel so proud of them. When I got my 3rd degree belt I felt really good when everyone clapped for me. But I try not to wait to hear the clapping at the end to be proud of myself. I am proud of what I do everyday in class. Everyone should be proud of what they accomplish. I am getting ready for the November tournament and hopefully able to test for 3rd Decided in Orlando next September and my red/black junior certified instructor collar in 2 years from now. At Strickland’s Taekwondo there are actually a lot of girls. The best part of being a girl in taekwondo is that girls can do the same thing as boys. Anyone can do it.
One day I want to own my own school. Or I want to work for Drew when he takes over for Mr. Strickland. I really like working with Drew. He helps by aggravating me all the time and helps me to overcome all the mean comments in life and to be a better leader and he pushes me to be able to run my own class. I also really like Mr. Vickroy. I have known him for years and he is very patient with me and funny. I like Mrs. Clements because she pushes me to be a better instructor and she likes Star Wars too. I like Mr. Strickland very much and the trust he puts in me as his student and instructor. I am good friends with Natalie Campbell who Drew and Mrs. Clements say is my partner in crime. And little Maddox is so cute and helps keeps me on my toes to be better instructor. Master Strickland and Drew and all the instructors call me Miss Anderson and I really like that a lot. I try to go to class 6 days a week and teaching as many classes as my mom lets me to. But if you see me outside of class you can call me Jackie. Thank you for reading and for letting me write my journey.