Monday, October 31, 2005

Working (out) Together; Playing Together

Learning Tae Kwon Do is tough. As a person who's had very little instruction in sports, I sometimes feel at a disadvantage as I learn tough moves that take strength, power, and grace.

Learning to spar can be especially scary. Fighting with someone in close range can be quite intimidating. Getting hit can be scary and painful.

One thing that keeps me going, however, is knowing that my classmates are watching out for me. We watch out for one another.

I've written about the importance of our little TKD community before, and I think it's important to more people than just me. I notice that our Tae Kwon Do group doesn't just dissolve when class is over. We're a community together even outside of class. We email each other, read each others' blogs, encourage one another.

One thing we often do is have parties! I've been to several parties over at the dojang, and there's something special about them. It's nice to see another side of your classmates, to share some time-off with them.

This was especially true this weekend, when I got to see my classmates, especially the younger ones, in costume at the dojang Halloween party.

Here are some of the girls who planned the party. Master Hughes decided to let them do it, and a good idea. These teenagers have lots of energy, and a party like this is a good, safe, fun place for them to use it! I think they enjoyed figuring out cool yet attractive costumes! Here are Chelsea, Stephanie, and Alyssa (who's Alyssa's friend? I don't know her).

Luckily there were some boys there! Though I think girls outnumbered boys on the dance floor!

The dance featured a DJ. Lots of the dances were the "Cha Cha slide" and "Hoky Poky" type that everyone could do without a partner, though there were some slow dances, too.

Of course I danced! I love to dance! Here are some young folks dancing.

I wasn't the only adult there. You can see here that Cheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong, and Evel Kneivel joined me. (Are these great alter-egos or what?)

Here I am, Maid Marian. That's a toy bow and arrow I'm holding. It kept getting borrowed by young people!

Here are my "Merry Men." Eli was King Edward VI, otherwise known as Edward Tudor, who was king when he was 10 years old. Eli found a picture of him in a book about Kings and Queens of England. Eli could be his double! So I made Eli the outfit the boy king wore in the picture. Isn't he adorable?

Robbie and Jacob wanted to be scary. They were both Death. I'm not sure what convinced me to buy that rubber mask for Robbie. He showed up at my bedside this morning wearing it. "Good Morning and Happy Halloween, Mom," he said. Yikes.

The boys thought the party was "too much dancing," and perhaps it was for them. But I think the teens liked it. I did, too! More dancing!

The boys hung out together and admired each other's costumes. And maybe that's all they needed. That and lots of sugary snacks.

All in all, it was fun to spend some time with my TKD friends. Fun, too, to watch the young people being with their friends. All of it will strengthen our bonds as a community of people learning something tough: martial arts. I hope we do another party soon!

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