by Stacey Colson

When I was a kid I loved watching Bruce Lee movies or anybody for that matter doing martial arts, it looked so cool to me. I also loved music, I would play it loud in my headphones with a hair brush in my hands and pretend I was a rock star, singing into that microphone(hair brush). I often would day dream about being a rock star when I grew up, but I also wanted to be Bruce Lee or at least the female version, he was so cool.  I had some anger issues with not a lot of musical talent so I was leaning towards Ninja. I protected my brother when we were in Jr. high school, he was a bit of a nerd and got pick on, I was always there defending him. It used to make me so madd, there was this one kid who was the school bully, he would pick on a lot of kids not just my brother and not just boys either. It still makes me madd to see anyone bullying someone else. I never actually got into a fight, I think it was because he wasn’t supposed to hit a girl. I remember thinking when I grow up I’m going to teach people how to defend themselves, wow!

My parents didn’t support me in a lot of stuff outside school, because they didn’t have the time to take me, so I never took martial arts classes, but my mom said when I turned 16 I could drive myself, I was so excited, I remember a Shotokan Karate class at my rec. center. I was about to sign up for the class and my dad said I’m going to take this class, do you want to take it with me? Well, I was a perfect rebellious teenager with some(a lot) daddy issues so I said no I was not interested, huh that ill show him! of coarse looking back as an adult on that, it was my dad’s way of trying to spend some time with me doing something I was interested in, well he showed me, he became a black belt and entered several national tournament and did very well. I was jealous of his success, but by this time I was an adult and made excuses of I couldn’t afford it or I didn’t have the time. Sure I was busy in college and working full time, but what I’ve come to realize now is you make time for what you want. I still held onto my dream and thought one day I’ll be a black belt. Before I new it time had gone by to fast I was in my late 30’s and thought well now its to late and eventually I forgot all about it. In 2007 my son was born and I started looking at the world and my life differently, for example I imagined  myself telling my son don’t give up on your dreams and it’s never to late, wait I need to take my own advice.  I wanted my son to learn by example and I also realized I grew up with not a lot of discipline and structure, I wanted Ronan to have that, but how was I suppose to teach him that if I didn’t know how to do it myself?  My husband had gotten his black belt as a kid but stopped doing it as an adult. He started doing Tae Kwan do again after being away from it for 20 years, when Ronan was 3 years old he started teaching it to children his age. I sat there watching my husband teach and my son do Tae kwan do and I said hey wait a minute I have always wanted to do this, so i finally started down the path of my dream to be Bruce Lee.

Wow this was exciting, was I finally going to make my dream come true? I loved it and will never forget when I took my first test, I cried. I finally achieved something I had been dreaming about since I was a kid,even though I had given up on it for awhile or forgotten about it because my life was to busy. Looking back at all this I’ve discovered a lot, that martial arts isn’t just a class or a few lessons to become a black belt, it’s life changing! Martial arts has taught me to over come a fear of failure that I’ve held onto since childhood, I have learned to give myself respect and to not give up on something because it’s not easy or I’ve convinced myself I can’t do it, in fact I’m learning to get that word(can’t) out of my vocabulary altogether. Martial arts has made me become a better mom and wife and most of all a better person to myself. I truly believe things happen for a reason, this was alway meant  to be for me, I’m just glad I did wait because I found the perfect 2nd family and martial arts has become a way of life for me and not just what I’m going to be when I grow up. The answer is Ninja!!