For the past few years Trevor has been taking Taekwondo and is now just one belt away from becoming a black belt. He started at a time when he needed some help managing his behavior, and the Master of the studio knew just what to do! While his motivation for attending has always been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, as his parents we have continued to push him to stick with it because we have seen how much it has helped him gain confidence and learn to focus.
Now he wants to quit, again. And we are torn as to whether to continue to push him through black belt. It’s not like other belts. It requires significant preparation time, dedication, and commitment, not to mention an entire day of testing! There is not a concern about whether he could do it – he has never had a problem belt testing. It’s more that he is now a bit older and much harder to push doing things that he doesn’t want to do. And it’s only April! His test would not occur until November, which means seven more months of painful discussions just to get him to the studio.
I have had numerous talks with him about what he stands to lose if he drops out. I even told him about how half-way through my PhD program I wanted to quit. The classes were mostly busywork, with professors far more vested in their research than in teaching. My advisor and I did not get along, and I was very unhappy being managed by someone I did not respect. But I stuck with it and am glad I did. Although I told Trevor the story with much more finesse, at nine years old the world looks very different. He is still not biting – so I don’t know what the outcome will be.
The photo today is of homeless New Yorkers sleeping and hanging out in front of a church. I know each one of them has a story to tell, and wonder how much of it includes regrets of things they wish they had done.