Like I said in my maiden blog, I like to start at the beginning. So...In the beginning (aka: early 2007 in this case), I was looking for activities for my then 8 year old son, who has ADHD.
Softball? We couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars...
Soccer? Again, we couldn't afford the multiple hundreds of dollars...
Karate - We couldn't afford the THOUSANDS of dollars...
When I mentioned this to my son's pediatrician, she gave me a list of community centers offering sports programs at reasonable prices. She informed me it was well documented that the discipline and focus required in the practice of the martial arts was beneficial to those with ADHD.
And that is how I found our Martial Arts School. The school's "Karate Kids" program meets at a neighboring municipality's recreation center every Thursday night from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm. The school's adult Karate class meets from 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm.
My son enjoyed the class, but true to his nature, he had trouble remembering what he had learned as recently as a few hours before. I took to videotaping new moves and then practicing them with him each night. I am sure I enjoyed the routineness of this much more than my son.
I also noticed that I really enjoyed the graceful moves, especially the kata, named "Basic Number One", taught to the beginners.
Without even realizing it, I found myself practicing when all alone...and often. I actually went through the movements of the kata in the bathrooms at work (um...when nobody was in there that is! : ) Other employees would walk into the kitchen area and catch me doing knuckle push ups against the wall or balancing on one foot while I waited for my lunch to heat up in the microwave.
When I finally admitted to myself that this is something I wanted to do for myself, not just in support of my son, I had to overcome my long time ingrained fear of people laughing at me and my track record of poor performance in most athletic endeavors. I mean, I like to ride bicycles and bowl, but that was about the extent of my love of sports. It took me a few weeks to convince myself to sign up for the adult class, but I did it. And because of those preconceived perceptions of myself, I have to tell you, it was a difficult decision for someone like me. But I really did it. And you know what? It was an exhilerating feeling! Now more than ever, I more clearly understand the Chinese proverb, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step..."