Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Mom on a Mission"

The Mylene D Story- a story about a mom on a mission to achieve her goals

It’s 1990 in Montreal and I suddenly develop an absolute passion for the Martial Arts. At 23 and single, I start training in Kyokushin Karate. I enter a tournament at Orange Belt and to my surprise I win 1st Place in Forms and 3rd Place in Sparring. I train on and off for about 4 years having moved around and made it all the way to Brown Belt.

In 1994, decide to move to South Florida and start a new life with my new American boyfriend and married him in 1995. Not being a very athletic man, I fell into a “couch potato” routine and even begin to smoke in contrast to the way I had always lived my life, being healthy and active. Four (4) years go by and the relationship takes a turn for the worst; fighting about everything and just not happy with the way life is going, I decide to leave him in January of 1999, get my own apartment in Pompano Beach and file for divorce. Luckily, there were no kids involved. One (1) month later I decide it was time to go back to Karate. I had missed it so much it didn’t take me long to sign up and realized that even after 9 years, getting my Black Belt was still a very important personal goal. Because this was a completely different style of Karate called Kenpo, I needed to start all over again at White Belt.

So now it’s February 1999, I’m single again, I have a great job working in my field as a Software Developer, new friends and NO MORE SMOKING. I’m traveling to Europe and doing all the things I love which includes of course Karate 4-5 times a week. Nothing to stop me now from getting my Black Belt right? Wrong! A year later in February of 2000, I meet the man of my dreams, Paul, my soul mate and where? On the Internet of all places…but that’s another story. Three months later, we’re engaged to be married in October. Still training hard and moving up in rank, it’s now November 2000 and I am finally a Brown Belt and VERY pregnant with Domenic. Time to stop training again and “still” no Black Belt. I have the baby in March 2001 and move to Plantation a year later. Two more years go by and I’m aching to go back to Karate. Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Domenic is now 2 years old; I figure it’s time to get back to my training. So in January of 2003 I start to make plans to go back to Karate at the same school I trained before I got pregnant. Well, the story doesn’t end here…in the midst of making plans I find out I am 5 weeks pregnant with Carina. Of course I am excited and figure my Karate (and Black Belt) will have to wait. Carina is born in September 2003.

Still a Stay-At-Home-Mom now with 2 kids, one being an infant, Karate is virtually impossible. So I take up Turbo Kickboxing at the local Gym. Throughout 2004, I continue doing classes at the gym and slowly get back into shape. During this time, I would literally have dreams at night of me back in Karate classes. Well one morning in July 2005 after one of these dreams, I decide, “that’s it”…I’m GOING BACK! I am determined to get my Black Belt, now a “Mom On A Mission”…I start training again and things are going very well. I manage to balance my home life, kids, a husband AND karate 3 times a week.

So here we are January 2007, I am a High Red Belt and finally in cycle for my intensive Black Belt training with a due date of August 4th. A “candidate” for Black Belt, I start training 4 times a week which includes an 8:15am Saturday class and 4 two mile runs a week. My personal goal of becoming a Black Belt is becoming a reality…finally!! But wait…I have a big challenge. One of the many prerequisites for Black Belt (Endurance) is running 2 miles under 16 minutes. It’s February and I am running 2 miles in 19:30…I’m never going to make it, right? Wrong! Even though I honestly believed that for a while, it’s been 17 years I’ve been trying to reach this goal and I was determined! I have 6 months to get my time down so I run…and run…and run…and run even in 90 degrees shaving about 45 seconds per month. It hurt and at times I would feel like I was going to be sick but finally in June, my best time…2 miles in 15:49 minutes. I also pass my Black Belt test in July…I MADE IT!! Saturday August 4th 2007, I am presented with my Black Belt at the “Black Belt Spectacular” Show and I am in tears. I managed to fracture my little pinky toe while performing but “who cares”…at 40, a mom with 2 kids I am in the best shape of my life and I finally achieved a personal goal that took me almost half my life time.

At 40 I thought I knew myself pretty well but I realize now that with DETERMINATION you can achieve ANYTHING. My passion for the Martial Arts and my willpower kept me going and will keep me going. As moms we sacrifice so much. I completely gave up my career as a Software Developer and took a 4 ½ year hiatus from something I loved to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom by choice. Not regretting and loving every minute I stayed home to raise my children, I have to say I am glad I am “making time for me”. It is so important for moms to stay healthy physically and mentally that I have embarked on a mission to get more moms into getting FIT through Martial Arts. Even if Physical Fitness is not on the top of your To-Do List, I hope my story inspires you to reach your personal goals no matter what they are because I truly believe Determination is KEY! So if there is anything that you’ve always wanted to do…get out there and JUST DO IT!

Have fun, enjoy your children and make the most of life. Don’t leave for tomorrow what you would like to do today.


Anonymous said...

I found this write-up at our dojo on the Wall of Inspiration - a collection of stories about people from our dojo and elsewhere. I thought I'd share this with you all here. KB@50

Anonymous said...

I loved reading YOUR story. As a 44 year old mom, I just received my third degree black belt and I admire and respect your determination to JUST DO IT!!!