Monday, December 11, 2006

Family Photos

At most TKD tests, my older son Robbie comes to take pictures. He's been doing this for a while and he's getting good at it.

But this time, he didn't want to come to the test. Neither did Eli, my younger son ("I'll go to your black belt test, Mom," he said.) So I was family-less at the test. (Of course, Bruce needed to stay home with the guys.)

I envy those TKD students whose parents, spouses, siblings, or significant others watch their tests. It would be nice to share this moment with those who are close to you, for those close to you to show they care about your progress in TKD!

I brought my camera anyway, and asked Christie and Stephanie (who were not testing this time) if they would take pictures. They said they would.

Then Master Hughes did his usual announcement: "There's someone in this room who's the most important person to you now, and it's not me. Go give your mom or dad a hug!"

I began to feel lonely, but then Stephanie and Christie both gave me a hug! That was nice. It reminded me that even when my family isn't at the test, my TKD family is there.

I'm not exaggerating when I say TKD family. We work out together 3x a week. We share moments of vulnerability, moments of frustration, moments of victory. And at our dojang, we have fun together outside of class, too--trips, parties, meals. My classmates have become a second family to me, some more than others, but a sure and stable source of support.

I will just share a few photos that Christie and Stephanie took.

Here I am doing some basic moves at the beginning of the test. I like the way this photo captures the whole group, too. I think it's an awesome sight to see all of us moving in unison, like a dance.

Here are three black belt candidates! The black belt test was after the regular test, so Michele, Matthew, and Chelsea had to wait and watch.

This photo is of me setting up for my front elbow strike. I have more photos of me breaking which I'll share later. But this one is significant because of the holders. I looked up to see that Justin was holding for me--that somehow helped me feel calmer about the break, just knowing he was holding. You can't see him at the picture because he's behind Christie. She dashed over to help hold, which also meant a lot to me. Stephanie took the photo.

Great family, eh?

And I'd just like to say that if you haven't looked at the comments to my last post on the post-test blues, you should. I love what Little Cricket says about the experience of giving up something you've worked on for a long time--almost a sense of loss. And Justin gives an insight about what it's like for black belts tests. Thank you, both!

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