So I wanted to wait until the right time to share this news… While skimming the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) official rule book, I realized that there was nothing in the manual saying that an individual that uses a wheelchair or other mobility aid cannot compete in the regular divisions with competition but they do need to know that they are competing with the regular rules. The rules actually allow me to compete in the Female 18-29 2nd and 3rd degree Black Belt ring It was confirmed with Headquarters the same day. Effective the first day of the the 2019-2020 season, I will be dropping my status as a Special Abilities-Physical Division eligibility. I am aware that the SPS, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Dysautonomia (autonomic/involuntary nervous dysfunction), POTS/OH/NCS/bradycardia/hypotension, CRPS, and a failing GI system may force me back to the Special Abilities division. If and when that day comes, I’ll have to make some choices.
I will finish off this tournament year at the Northeastern District Championships in Lancaster, PA this weekend. I will be competing in six events for the title of World Champion in Little Rock, Arkansas in July. I have four World titles from the 2017-2018 Tournament to defend and I recently started doing XMA forms and XMA weapons. I qualified for those events as well. We’re going for 6 World titles this year, so I need to get it in gear!
The following week is my 3rd Degree Black Belt Test for Rank. After 25 months as a 2nd Degree, I am excited to learn more!!! Especially, the 3rd Degree Black Belt
They say that every belt has millions of memories. I have found this to be very true. I have many great memories and I have a bunch of things I would love to forget.
But for now, I need to focus on crushing it at Districts, my rank testing, and Top 10. Since I am competing in the regular division, I’m unsure if I’ll even place in anything next tournament. But as Tom Krause said, “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” I’m making this change to better myself, for the camaraderie, and for experience to improve myself as a student, competitor, instructor, and most importantly, as a person.