MCKENZEE VERRY — TEMPORARY BLACK BELT TEST
JUNE 18, 2016
Temporary Black Belt
What TaeKwonDo Means To Me
My name is McKenzee, I am 24 years old and I am very soon to be (hopefully) a black belt member of the Jung’s family. When I was in junior high I played basketball and ran hurdles in track, I loved being on a team and participating in sports distracted me from my troubles at home. Unfortunately, as time went on I developed a few different issues with my knees that in turn prevented me from continuing with any sports in high school. Left with no outlet and things at home getting rocky, I developed depression, anxiety, as well as an extreme lack of self-confidence and motivation.
Over the next seven years of my life I struggled greatly with who I was and what I was going to do with my life. I felt like I was lost in myself. Then I met Mr. Forrest Gibson who would change my life in a way that I never expected. I didn’t meet him through TaeKwonDo, but it was clear from the beginning that it was a large part of his life. I had participated in TaeKwonDo when I was younger at another school in Iowa City and didn’t hold very good memories from it, so when Master Gibson and the mothers of the Grinnell Branch students began trying to convince me to rejoin I was extremely hesitant.
However, I was completely intrigued watching his classes and going to rank testing in Cedar Rapids, and it was instantly clear that the Jung’s program was nothing like the one I had been in previously, while TaeKwonDo is individual these students were really a team, a group of people that may never have spoken before were working together towards a common interest. I was so impressed with all the students; their technique, concentration, and motivation were remarkable. After about three months of watching and getting to know the students, I realized that none of them would be who they were without TaeKwonDo, and maybe it would change me as well, so I joined.
The Jung’s program was like a map helping me on my journey to a better me. Since joining I’ve learned to better understand my body: how hard and how far I can push myself. I no longer depend on medications to control my anxiety and depression or to get me through the day. I no longer depend solely on others to provide me with the motivation to do anything, even if there is a room full of people willing to lift me up whenever I’m in need. In fact, my level of confidence in myself is higher than it’s ever been. While I still have so much to improve on I’m a million miles from where I began, and if I had to choose the most important lesson that TaeKwonDo has taught me it would be that I will never be done improving myself.
I can’t say that TaeKwonDo is for everyone, but I can say and believe whole heartedly that the Jung’s program is for EVERYONE, every age, race, sex, size, and religion. To me, Jung’s TaeKwonDo about finding yourself, constantly working at becoming the best person you can be, and helping others to do the same.