The first time I walked into a tae kwon do class, I walked in with my cane and my little dog. Master Evan Nixon, the owner of Mellennia Tae Kwon Do, thought I was just there to watch, which I kind of was. As someone living with spondyloarthritis, I never thought that I’d be able to do it.
But he said I could start easy and take it as far as I could, so I started. I ended up having so much fun that the pain took a back burner for a while. Then I started going up in the belts, and then it was so exciting that I had gone that far! I started to lose weight and get in shape. I was getting my balance back, which I hadn’t had in a while.
I still walk with my cane sometimes, but Master Nixon is really an awesome teacher and he knows how to work with my disability. I have so much fun at class and everyone is so nice, it’s like I have a whole family right there at the dojo. I do push myself a little farther than I should sometimes (well, a lot of times!). I’ve been doing tae kwon do for about a year now. I’ve got my high yellow belt now – my third belt that I’ve gotten. I probably will never make it to black belt, but I’m going to keep doing it until I can’t.
Tae kwon do has a lot of benefits for me. It isn’t a cure, and it doesn’t get rid of the pain, but sometimes some things are just so much fun and so enjoyable that you don’t care about the pain for a minute – not until you get home, anyway!
You should always stay active, even if tae kwon do isn’t your thing. The stronger you make yourself, the better you will be.
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