In the past when I’ve made girls cry, there has usually been slapping, shinkicking and/or profanity involved, all aimed at me. This time there wasn’t. And I felt great about doing it.
A little background. I’m a 5th Degree Black Belt with the American Taekwondo Association. Earlier this month, our school and many others in the ATA took part in the “ATA Kicks Far For NAAR” project as a fundraiser for the National Alliance for Autism Research. The event was co-chaired by Ms. Erin Baker, who owns an ATA school in Oregon and Ms. Diane Myers, who owns a school in Texas.
Erin and her sister Morgan recently lost their younger sister, who was autistic and died from related complications. Their involvement with NAAR and the project came about due to that.
I was trying to find a way to acknowledge their efforts for NAAR (we’ve raised over $50k so far and pledges are still coming in) and came up with the idea of a posthumous Black Belt for their sister, who had joined their school about three weeks before her death. I petitioned ATA and Grandmaster Lee very kindly consented. We made the presentation on Sunday and, needless to say, both Erin and Morgan got very emotional over it.
I don’t often get to do nice things for really nice people, so this was really meaningful to both me and them. The Baker sisters are really sweet and the loss of their sister hit them both hard. I’m glad they got the recognition they deserved and I am happy that I got to play a part in it. First time in my life I’ve been happy to make a girl cry.