Thinking back as I prepare for my Black Belt test to the beginning of my time practicing Oom Yung Doe is to realize how great I feel. I believe it is safe to say, “I never knew it was possible to feel this well.” The movements have made me strong physically.
I began the program with a goal of increasing my balance and my flexibility. This goal remains “a work in progress.” The understanding I have gained of myself was unexpected and illuminating. It is in this insight where I have achieved the most lasting value from practicing Oom Yung Doe.
For the sake of brevity, I will put in list form what I have learned of my character:
- I lacked patience with myself
- I did not like being given direction or criticism
- I did not like to sweat
- I did not like to feel uncomfortable physically or psychologically so I did not push myself
- It took me a while to make a commitment to the program - to make it a priority to practice
In addition to the above revelations, I have grown to accept my physical limitations. I began the program classified as legally blind and have experienced additional vision loss during the course of training. Through practice, I am able to move about more confidently and less stiffly even in difficult lighting and uncertain footing. I have accepted that I cannot learn as easily as others and feel grateful for the individual attention of the instructors as opposed to feeling resentful for being singled out. I recognize that I tried to find short cuts in the movements so I did not finish last as I did with many aspects of life. I now take my time and do everything thoroughly and with focus and purpose. This allows me to derive the most benefit from whatever I am doing.
I am aging well-free of arthritis and with great energy. The better care I take of myself, the better care I can take of others. I have a quality of life I cherish and look forward to continued achievements and knowledge with the help of Oom Yung Doe.
Catherine M. Meyers
February 14, 2005