White, yellow, green, and blue belts from Taekwondo in South Korea.

I’ve been in Korea for nearly eight months. Wait a minute. I need to retype that to believe it.

I’ve been in Korea for nearly eight months.

Nope. I still don’t believe it. Where have the past 230 days gone?

Although many of the goals I want to achieve are still out of sight, gaining a black belt in Taekwondo is within reach. I never thought Taekwondo would be something I’d do in life; but, it’s been a fun adventure à la carte that perfectly pairs with my time in Korea.

Over the past several months, I’ve transformed from a yellow belt to a green and from a green belt to a blue. Master wants me to attain black belt status by September. Can you believe it?

A green belt in Taekwondo represents a plant starting to grow. Just as I toss seeds about, I must also plant myself in order to fully develop. A blue belt symbolizes the sky or heaven.

My skills are growing strong. I’m able to do my Taekwondo routines without making too many mistakes. And I can even (kind of) do the turn-around-while-you-fly-through-the-air kicks that seemed nearly impossible a few months ago.

Like a tall plant or tree stretching up towards the sky, I have a really good view of what’s going on, and what’s ahead. Like the trees covering springtime in Korea, my newfound abilities are budding, and the best is yet to come.

By cultivating what took time to sprout, I’ve firmly rooted myself in all aspects of life in Korea. And thanks to nourishment from my Master, help from my co-teachers, and support from friends and family near and far, I'm blossoming.

This might sound strange, but have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror? I mean truly studied the details of your face, of your body—the lines and marks of growth. I hardly recognize the boy that stares back at me, the man that has physically and mentally matured from being uprooted and transplanted.

It's a good thing.

How have you grown? What are your reaching for?


JOIN CHASE: End of Innocence
JOIN CHASE: No Pain No Gain
JOIN CHASE: Role Reversal