"I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do."

Sometimes, it strikes fear in people when I say this sentence to them, but they do not realize that Tae Kwon Do (or TKD for short) is so much more than just breaking faces. For me, it became a way of life. It may have taken me a while to realize it, but Tae Kwon Do made me who I am today.

Here are some things that Tae Kwon Do has taught me over the years.

1. Hard work really does pay off.

TKD was one of the first things that really made me work for something that I wanted. It may have taken me more than a decade, but I finally reached my goal through perseverance.

2. Patience is key.

As I mentioned before, It took me several years to come as far as I did during black belt training. There were times when I felt like it was taking too long and going through the process just was not worth it. However, As time went by, I realized that to get anywhere in life, patience has utmost importance. All good things take time.

3. Embrace your support system.

If I didn't already, I appreciated my friends and family more than ever when I was going through black belt training. The fact that I had so many people on my side really helped me in several ways. Having a good support system made me believe in myself when I wanted to give up, and I will forever be grateful for that.

4. People can only help you if you help yourself.

I had many people on my side from the start, and even though the majority of them were extremely supportive, I wasn't always keen on accomplishing much when it came to TKD. Once I truly started believing in myself, others' encouragement truly started to make a difference.

5. Never give up and keep fighting.

Even though I did decide for myself that giving up was NEVER an option, TKD did gear my way of thinking. I became a stronger, more confident woman, and it was all because I was a fighter.