One of the most fascinating aspects of Taekwon-Do is the variety of personalities you see reflected in the practitioners. Chris is every inch a tomboy. She's the type of person who'd spit on the palms of her hands and shimmy up the nearest apple tree on a bet. From the upper branches, she'd grin and start lobbing apples at you, only to climb down and companionably munch one of those same apples with you in the shade. I can't help but smile when she thumbs her nose at me, daring me to join her in impromtu sparring before class. She's lightening quick, and she's inside my guard before I ever see it coming. It's like sparring a whirlwind; mostly invisible until I feel her tap me along side the head. At which point I shake my head in chagrin at being "caught" while she beams in delight.
Like all of us, Chris has her own reasons for being in Taekwon-Do . . .
"Judo was on Friday nights, and my parents didn't want to drive me to Judo. So I started Taekwon-Do at the Rec Center under Mr. Ford. I progressed to low green with Mr. Ford, then took 2 1/2 years off from training. When I started back at the Rec Center, Mr. Jerry Sisco and Mr. Tom Sisco had taken over as instructors. I've been there ever since.
"I stay with Taekwon-Do because it's a part of my life, and always will be. I've made many friends over the years, and lost most of them to the paths they've taken in their own life. That just means there's more room for new friends.
"When I started Taekwon-Do, I was shy and very quiet (if you can believe that)! TKD forced me to change. Rickey Price and I were Mr. Sisco's (almost) first students, so we had a lot of duties handed to us. I had to get up in front of classes and lead warmups; after awhile, I started teaching new white belts. It's hard to be shy and quiet, and teach. Over the years I have become quite outspoken which occasionally gets me into trouble with authority. I now stand up for myself, and tell people what I think, all because of what TKD has done for me.
"My first goal was to get my black belt. That seems to be the goal of most people who begin any martial art. When I tested for my 1st dan in Denver, I failed. The only two things I passed were breaking and the written test. Most people would have quit, but I held out for six months, went back to Denver, and showed them that I could become a well-respected black belt. Right now, my future goal consists of going until I can't go anymore.
"I have three jobs throughout the year. I substitute teach during the winter, preferably 7th grade and above. During the summer I work with Mr. Nelson painting park shelters and swimming pools. Don't let Mr. Nelson's quiet facade fool you--he's got quite the sense of humor! Then there are the paper routes I started in January. I get up every morning at 4:00 AM and deliver over 90 papers, no matter what it looks like outside. My hobbies include volleyball, softball (co-ed and women's), reading, music, Legos (editor's note: she's got some cool stuff she's built out of Legos) and spending time with my family. Besides my mom and dad, I have a younger brother, Joe, a younger sister, Ann, a Springer Spaniel named Abby, and the baby of the family, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Harley. I'm thirty years old, but I can get by with looking like a junior high school student!"