2020 Taekwondo Goals

Happy New Year, my wonderful readers! If you don’t follow me on Instagram (please do @melaniegibsonauthor), you haven’t seen my taekwondo goals for 2020. I wrote these in my office one day in late December and have them posted above my desk.

These aspirations should keep me motivated when I’m getting too mired in conference calls or presentations (and inspire me to get off my ass and move around).

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Black Belts: Find Your Inspiration

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A coworker likes to share the phrase, “You’re never too old to learn, and you’re never too young to teach.” Often we look to role models who have already forged the paths we want to travel, but we shouldn’t discount those who may be behind us in achieving a particular goal but whose perseverance and unique aptitude can be a refreshing lesson in never giving up. My last post was a call for black belts to learn from everyone they encounter, no matter what rank they are. My new challenge for my fellow black belts is to find inspiration from others.

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Taekwondo Is Who I Am

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I’m writing this at my desk on a quiet, pretty Sunday afternoon while I sip ginger kombucha to ease my perpetually irritated stomach, try not to feel overwhelmed about some assignments my managerial editor has given me for my book, and hope I wake up in time to jump on an 8 AM conference call.

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Black Belt Bravery: Be Honest About What You Want and Don’t Want

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Recently my Master asked me if I wanted to do competition (forms and board breaking) or focus on testing for third Dan. Without hesitation I said I wanted to focus on third Dan. Breaking boards is fun as hell, but I’m not interested in competing. Continue reading “Black Belt Bravery: Be Honest About What You Want and Don’t Want”

A New Lease on Life — a Case for “Leasing” vs. “Owning”

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A few months ago my Body Combat teacher yelled at us to work like we were “owning” our lives rather than “borrowing” it. That can be a motivating sentiment. As a homeowner for the last eight years, I’m much more invested not only financially in keeping up and personalizing my home than I was as a renter, but emotionally as well. I love my home. There’s a deeper attachment than just fulfilling the physical need of shelter. Owning it means something special.

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I Want a Worn Out Black Belt

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At the beginning of June my Master decreed blessedly, thankfully, that we could wear t-shirts with our dobok pants for training…as long as they were school-branded shirts of course. Her reason–it’s so damn hot in the Texas summer that we were absolutely roasting in our dobok tops.

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Forty Lessons and Blessings Upon Turning Forty

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Like many friends and former classmates, I turned forty this year. It was interesting to see how people celebrated (or not). There were a few Vegas trips. There were a few parties. There were a few moments of contemplation. Mostly I saw a renewed energy and excitement about the future that we haven’t always associated with turning forty. My generation seems to be grabbing forty with gusto and running with it.

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When Life Gets In the Way of Life

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Teach a four-hour workshop to thirty hospital leaders.

Renew driver’s license in person at the Texas DPS.

Get home in time to let in the plumber and plan for the dishwasher installer.

Keep up with meetings and work deadlines.

Pack for a trip to see family.

Catch a flight.

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Do You Speak Korean in Your Dojang?

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“Come on, guys, let’s count in Korean,” I said with mock exasperation. A few nights ago my instructor had given me and my fellow classmates (teenage black belts) a series of exercises to do for our warm-up: jumping jacks, squats, mountain climbers, and push-ups. We were instructed to count out loud so we could stay together. I gritted my teeth though counting the first set of jumping jacks in English–it made me feel like a white belt–and spoke up as soon as I had the chance.

Saying, “Hana, dool, set…” never felt so sweet.*

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Playing the Long Game in Pool, Taekwondo, and in Life

“I’m playing the long game.”

My billiards partner glanced up at me as he said this and then narrowed his eyes at the pool table as he adjusted his stance. I had suggested he take an easier and more straight shot, but he was focused on long-term strategy. He wanted to set himself up to get multiple shots in one play. This involved taking a more difficult shot first so the cue ball would end up where he wanted it. Continue reading “Playing the Long Game in Pool, Taekwondo, and in Life”