Jaymi has been in taekwondo for quite a while now, and she is still going strong! She loves it so much, and always wants to go every class she has time for.
I thought it might be fun to look back at her taekwondo 'journey'.
She began as an extremely shy but eager white belt who, although she had to be coaxed with a partner on to the mats to join the class, she begged after each class, to go back the next day to another one.
It took quite a few weeks of classes before she was comfortable enough to walk into the class on her own.
She soon earned her yellow belt and was so proud. She loved the classes, loved the people she met, and loved the exercise and techniques.
Soon after that, she was invited to join Master Club and happily accepted.
With the privilege, came a new black uniform, special classes, and weapons training.
After yellow belt came orange. She became more and more confident.
She was now in Level One, and out of the beginner phase of taekwondo.
Green belt was next. At this point, Jaymi was fully ready to go all the way to black belt (and still is).
Purple belt was next.
Blue belt was next.
She is pictured here with two of her favourite black belts, Gina and Becca.
What great role models for her to have!
Next was Hi-Blue (blue with a black stripe), which marked the beginning of Level Two for Jaymi.
The test for this one was more intense than previous tests, beginning with a 1 km run (in which she outran two 12-yr-olds, finishing it in 5.26 minutes), followed by 25 push-ups, 25-sit-ups, and 25 jumping jacks, and then the hour-long belt test & ceremony!
Recently she earned her Low-Red belt (red with a white stripe).
Here she is pictured with her friend and classmate (in school), who has been in taekwondo with Jaymi since just a few months after her.
Jaymi has done so many fun things in taekwondo.
She entered a tournament and won some medals!
She has learned some awesome self-defense moves, which she loves to practice at home.
She learned how to break a board.
She has watched many black belt demonstrations, classes, and even trained with them.
She always seems so inspired by them.
We did a kickathon to raise money for BC Children's Hospital last year.
She has learned forms (like karate katas),
Kicks and punches of course,
and weapons training.
She is learning how to spar.
It also keeps her very fit.
She has brought friends to Buddy Classes,
she has brought Mark to a Father-Daughter class,
and she even convinced me to join!
I'm an orange belt now.
She has met so many awesome people at taekwondo.
Like Becca and Gina,
And lots of new friends to train with too, like Jason and Devin (pictured here with Gina).
It has been such a positive environment for her to be around.
Everyone is very encouraging, always high-fiving and trying their best.
When Jaymi had to take 3 months off after her second brain surgery, the staff got together and gave her a stuffie and a kicking paddle, along with a card. They missed her the whole time.
And she actually went to taekwondo 3 times a week for the whole 3 months, just so that she could watch!
Here is pictured Master Clark, Mrs. Clark, Clint, Danielle, Gina, and Jaymi.
And here is Jaymi heading out to watch a class.
She wanted to wear her belt, but not the uniform, since she wasn't allowed to be in the class.
She wasn't smiling much at this point, but she did still love to be at taekwondo.
I think it really helped her.
She earns stripes for doing things at home, like reading every day, chores, being self-disciplined, and practicing taekwondo.
Jaymi loves the feeling of knowing that she earned a new belt, that she worked hard, and the feeling of belonging to this awesome group of people.