NO PAIN NO GAIN

Blisters on feet from Taekwondo practice in Ochang, South Korea

I’m not going to lie. I lied to my Taekwondo Master. I told him I needed to leave Taekwondo early in order to get to yoga class. This is often the case, but tonight I simply didn’t want to put in the extra effort. I could barely stand, and my feet are blistered and bruised.

We’ve had a guest Taekwondo trainer for the past week, and he’s literally kicked me in the butt. He’s aggressive, he’s persistent, and he’s patient—all qualities of a good Taekwondo Master.

Class had actually finished on time; however, Master asked me to stay longer for more practice. God knows I need all the practice I can get, but kick after sidekick is absolutely exhausting. I feared he would keep me all night if I didn’t make up a reason to “have to” go. I stayed at least 15 more minutes, so don't totally judge me.

I’ve physically and mentally changed immensely since arriving in Korea nearly seven months ago. I knew this experience would be transformative, but I had no idea just how much I’d be able to accomplish and change in such a short amount of time. I’ve already achieved many of the goals I wanted to, and am living my dreams daily.

Bloody toes, some soreness, and/or a kink here or there is a small price to pay for how much I’ve grown. Being pushed to the limit in Taekwondo has reminded me it takes extra effort to succeed. Ask anyone who’s ever reached what he or she set out to do. You’ve got to do what it takes. Keep kicking no matter what. And don’t make up excuses to stop.

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