When I started taking TKD classes in 1979, I had no idea how important it would be to my life or how long I would be practicing. I was working as a teacher's aide at CEC, the alternative high school in Iowa City. Kaye Bair, who taught there, had just received her black belt, and she decided to offer a TKD class to the students. I asked if I could take it too. She agreed and so did the principal, so I began classes along with the high school students.
Up to that time I had been a grad student, a university teacher, and a photographer. I had done some yoga and some running, but nothing too strenuous. For a couple of months I enjoyed going to class and trying things that were totally outside my comfort zone. I thought TKD was interesting and fun.
Soon I was attending classes with the University of Iowa club in the evenings. I kept trying and learning and testing. I went to Cedar Rapids from time to time too. I started taking photographs for the dojang and the New Life Fitness center.
Finally, I achieved black belt and started teaching at the high school, helping at the University of Iowa club and teaching in the summers for Upward Bound.
Years later, after injuring my back during a demonstration, I took a number of years off from class. But I kept working out on my own, stretching and kicking mostly. I forgot most of my forms.
I came back to TKD a little over three years ago. This has given me the opportunity to get reacquainted with many old friends and to experience how the Jung's Tae Kwon Do family has grown over the years. Going to class again and helping to teach have been rewarding, as before.
Grandmaster Jung asked me to take over the responsibilities of editor of TaeKwonDo Times magazine. Now that I have been the editor of TaeKwonDo Times for a year and a half, I have been in communication with martial artists of various styles around the world. I have learned a lot about martial arts through that position. I see my role as providing a platform for martial artists with experience, knowledge and wisdom to communicate with a worldwide audience.
I turned 67 recently and am happy to say that I am still able to practice Tae Kwon Do. I hope to continue for many more years.