How Martial Arts Prepared Me to Fight Cancer


posted by on Inspiration, Martial Arts, My Lungs, Tae Kwon Do


Yes I’m a martial artist.  I’ve been taking Tae Kwon Do at Master Khechen’s Martial Arts & Fitness Academy for a couple of years now.  Both my daughters are junior black belts. My Kayla has continued on and hopes to be an instructor.

A little about how this journey started.  At first, I would just sit and watch the girls work out. I, however, would be squirming in my chair as if I was Rocky.  I wanted to get in there and do some punching.  I love to punch.  Go figure.

I finally took the plunge and decided to take classes. When I say it was a work out, I mean it was a work out! Tae Kwon Do isn’t like going to the gym and taking some tae bo class (I’ve done that too).  This is the real deal and for a 40 year old woman, I had a serious challenge ahead of me.

I had days in the class when I would get discouraged because I couldn’t do certain things or because I wasn’t suddenly trim and ready for that bikini.  Master Greco would remind me that I didn’t get out of shape overnight, so I wouldn’t get in shape overnight.  It was a journey. Just keep going.

Part of that journey was participating in my very first tournament, in a non-competitive group, and boy was I scared.  I came in 3rd place.  Woo Hoo.  Yes I know, there were only three of us, but if I didn’t participate, there wouldn’t have been a place at all.

As the next tournament approached, I would spar with Miss Jurdi (3rd Degree Black Belt) and all of the students in class, including the guys.  When I say I would get frustrated, that was an understatement.  I didn’t like being cornered and getting my butt kicked, especially by the guys.  I even walked off the mats one day.  Grrrrr.  I composed myself and came back on the floor for more “punishment”.  This was a journey I kept telling myself.

By the time the next tournament came, I really felt like I was ready for this.  It would be the first time I’d be sparring. Woo Hoo!  As the match began, I came out like a wild woman.  I am a puncher and my inner Rocky took over. Being 5 feet tall, I had a serious disadvantage from the others, as they could kick me in the head, but I could only reach their elbow. Okay, maybe their shoulder on a good day. I kept asking Master Greco to put me in the kids division so I could kick them in the head, but he wouldn’t, bummer. LOL

As the first round progressed, I felt myself fading fast.  LOL  Sparring in a tournament is much harder than in practice.  You’d think I would have been ready.  Miss Jurdi only kicked me in the head like 100 times during training. LOL My adrenaline got going and next thing I knew, I was completely pooped.  After the first round, I laughed and asked for oxygen. LOL  Seriously though, my lungs were killing me.  Turns out 9 months later I was diagnosed with lung cancer.  No wonder I couldn’t breathe.  I gave everything I had and ended up in 4th place.  I was so very proud to wear my medal. I earned it!

Check out my sparring match.

My martial arts journey has prepared me for this fight with cancer. It has been a challenging journey, but I will continue to push on. I truly believe my training has been key to me beating cancer.

  • It has given me the strength to fight this cancer.
  • It has taught me focus. I am 100% focused on beating cancer.
  • It has taught me that there will be good days and bad days, but just get it together and keep going.
  • It has taught me about true friendship.

I love my Tae Kwon Do family.

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