I find myself in a dilemma, in a situation where I have a choice between what I want to do and what I probably should do.
It’s been like Old Home Week around here lately. I’ve reconnected with old friends that I haven’t seen or talked to in years. Even better, these reunions have all been good, and that’s where some of my indecision lies.
For about 10 years, I studied taekwondo. It became not only a sport I excelled in, it became an obsession (if you listen to my peeps.) I trained 5-6 times a week, for hours a day. I rose to 3rd degree Black Belt, and was ranked in the Top Ten in both state and national competitions. I was also nationally recognized for my tournament judging.
The people I trained with, and competed with, were my friends, they were my second family. If I wasn’t taking a class, I was teaching one. If there was a tournament within driving distance I was there. I was in the best shape of my life while training – strong, confident, disciplined.
That all changed about four years ago… when I abruptly quit. I had completed the required training to test for my Fourth Degree. I was two months away from attaining that goal, and I simply walked way. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and one of the very few things I have ever regretted.
But, it was something I had to do.
That was then…
One of my former training partners called me this week. She and I came up through the ranks and even competed in the same division at tournaments. I admired her skill, and dreaded taking a punch from her.
She now owns two schools and invited me to return to the fold.
When I left taekwondo in 2008, it was because I had a falling out with our instructor. He had done something that I thought was not only unbelievably disrespectful, but also jeopardized the job I had at the time. He acted as if it was nothing for me to be angry about. Instead, it was the last of many such insults and I simply couldn’t continue at his school.
My friend was only told I quit, but not why. I found out many things during our afternoon together. Other ways that we both were deceived and taken for granted.
The dilemma now is whether to return. She’s offered me a chance to just workout at one of her schools, or to begin training again. She wants to help me remaster the forms, re-establish my status as a competitor and even be an instructor again if I want. I could be ready to test for my next rank within six months.
I just don’t know if I can do it all again. Leaving was incredibly painful. I would have to basically start over again. Not only re-learning everything I’ve forgotten, and but also taking on new material. It could easily become overwhelming. I’m also afraid my family won’t want me to go back, knowing how badly I was treated before.
The idea is still very tempting. I kept my tournament uniform. I wonder if it still fits.