Learning karate and other lessons — later in life… and finding inspiration along the way.

Ninja

I turned 53 this year. I signed up for karate lessons 7 years ago. I hardly talk about anything else. It’s with caution that my friends ask how I’m doing. I can see the tentative look in their eyes as they’re about to ask the question… and then the tension in their bodies as they brace themselves for my dissertation. They know they’re going to get an earful. They don’t quite understand what this means to me. I’ve wanted to take karate lessons since I was a young kid, and now I’m finally doing it. And I absolutely love it.

It was that TV show Kung Fu that did it. It captured me. Caine growing up in a monastery, the wise monks, the cool martial arts. As an adult, his quiet confidence, fearlessness, reserve in the face of danger. It inspired me.

So I did it. I earned by black belt last year. And you might think that because my goal has been achieved, that I’m done with it. The answer to that is no way, I’m far from done. I’m continuing on, working towards 2nd degree… and maybe more.

The journey has been quite a bit different from my childhood fantasy, I’ll tell you that. It’s a lot of hard work. But the payoffs have been monumental.

— Patty

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