Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

Tae Kwon Do as rehabilitation

I’m not one that likes to see re-posts but I found this very inspiring;

I received an email from ‘Everyday Health’ about how Tae Kwon Do helped to save a young teen. Below is the beginning of the article and the link to the entire story;

Breaking Through: How Tae Kwon Do Saved One Teen’s Brain

It was an otherwise normal day when 13-year-old Kassidy Brewer experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm that nearly killed her. This is the story of how her passion for martial arts — and an unrelenting family support system — brought her back to life.

By Sharon Tanenbaum

Click here for the full story;
Watch the videos associated with the story also. This is a very inspiring young lady.

September 15, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Been a while

It’s been a while since I made an entry. Mostly due to lack of interest and limited time. During the day at work I have managed to stay quite busy then at home I’ve been reading a number of books, all about an apocalyptic world in one form or another. I’ve also been to the doctor a few times trying to figure out why I get winded so easily while doing very low strenuous activities. It has really bothered me, to the point where I have stopped Hapkido and all workout activities. I have been thinking lately of getting back to the workouts but have concerns. The cardiologist ran various tests and found nothing wrong and the testing for asthma was negative. I guess I am confused/concerned as to what is going on.

I wonder if it’s all in my head and I need to quite worrying and get back to the workouts. I have a year, roughly, to reach Black Belt; this is just slowing down my progress. The problem is simple things like walking up the stairs can really wind me, not every time but enough that I am worried and the doctors have found nothing.

I need to make a decision… being out of shape is not a good thing. I have pretty much stopped the cokes and deserts. Now I need to figure out my exercise plan.

August 29, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One hell of a week…

Last week, Tuesday, wife wife was hospitalized with staph infection the became systemic. The staph made it into her blood stream and really caused some problems, mostly she felt miserable. She was throwing up, feeling dizzy, light headed, etc… I had never seen her like this. Let me back up…

5-April my wife cut her lead, it promptly became infected. She began putting antibiotics on it, but that just didn’t seem to handle the problem. On Friday she went to an Urgent Care facility and was told it was a staph infection. They lanced the boil as it had become, bandaged it and gave her a prescription for antibiotics. On Sunday she still was feeling it was healing right, she went back to the Urgent Care. She was then told the antibiotics weren’t working like they should so she was given another prescription. These new antibiotics had some side effects that concerned her so I stayed home from work on Monday with her just to be safe, she had no problems.

Tuesday she had an appointment with her regular doctor; I stayed home to go with her, it was at 10am. By 8am, after being up for more than an hour, she began to feel bad; dizzy, nauseous, etc… then she started throwing up. The doctors office is only 15 minutes a way and on the drive she throw up more. We got to the doctors office where she promptly went into an exam room and laid down…the doctor came in and looked at the original infection then said the staph had gone into her blood stream and she was going directly to the hospital emergency room.  Luckily it was in the building next door to his office.

It didn’t take long to get into the emergency room, once one of the doctors saw her various antibiotics were ordered and given to her via IV. A couple of hours later she was in a hospital room for a 4 night stay. All the time getting IV fluids and antibiotics at prescribe intervals, every six hours I think is was.

The good news she is doing good now and has gone back to work, she is still on oral antibiotics but doing much better.

I had never seen such a simple injury get bad so quick. I personally have had numerous cuts and wounds and never had this type of problem. I learned that it is quite easy for things to really get bad quick and to keep a close eye on the little cuts. I was really worried about my wife during this but I did all I could to not let her know I was worried so as not to make her too worried. I think it worked and she is doing good now.

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hapkido – Brown Belt

Friday night I test for my Brown Belt in Hapkido. The current techniques I am working on at High Blue are mostly punching defense with some grabbing releases. I have been trying to explain some of what I am learning to my wife and co-workers and seem to be getting quite a few blank stares. It seems most do not really understand what I am learning or I cannot really explain it to them. I really wish I was able to create the interest in Hapkido I have in others. Just about everything I am learning I am able to see real world practical applications.

My goal other than reaching Black Belt, in about 18 months, is to teach Self Defense techniques to people at work. We focus so much on work safety but seem to stop when it pertains to leaving the office. Parking lots can be real dangerous and I want to try to offer people options in being safe. I don’t have the thought that once you spend 4 hours in a class that you are magically able to defend yourself but I do think it’s a good start. In truth the ability to protect yourself from an attacker requires skills that are second nature requiring NO THOUGHT. I also realize that if you are confronted by someone with a gun that you should give them what they want instead of tempting fate.

If all goes as expected Monday I will begin learning new techniques as a Brown Belt working toward Red Belt.

December 7, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , | Leave a comment


I’ve been stewing over this one the last couple of days. Monday my stepson’s dad picked him up from school after football practice as is usual. On their ride to our house, my wife and I were not home from work yet, he tells his dad he was hit hard during practice and the coach wants him to get checked out for a possible concussion. His dad has something else he has to do and does not take him straight to the doctor… Am I nuts or should you take you child to the doctor for something like this? What is more important than your child’s well being? About 2 hours later my wife gets home, I get home 30 minutes after her, she tells me what has transpired. She takes him to the Urgent care facility near us and they check him out. Come to find out he might very well have a mild concussion. He is going for a full scan today, performed by his regular doctor, to make sure he is OK. Fortunately his only complaints are a few aches and a head ache; not the nausea, etc… that comes along with a back concussion.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Lately I have simply been tired. Not sure if it is lack of sleep or just not restful sleep.

Today my body just does not want to go. My back has a slight discomfort which makes it tough to sit long while working. I have Hap Ki Do tonight, I hope the exercise will re-vitalize me. It really is irritating to feel this way, I wander if the problem is diet?

I still have the neck pain from some 4 weeks ago when I was at my deer lease. It is much better but i still have the stiffness in my left shoulder and neck. Friday I test for my next belt in Hap Ki do so I better get my act together.

September 30 was the one year mark for Hap Ki Do; I have another 18+ months to reach black belt.

October 5, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

Needless Death

On September 12, 2010 a co-worker/friend passed away. This was a needless death all in the name of losing weight. I say needless because he went to Mexico to have a his stomach stapled or something of the type. On the flight back the stitches in his stomach ruptured causing the bacteria and things escape his stomach. This caused a massive infection which he was hospitalized to battle. At a point they thought it was under control then the next thing you hear is the circulation in his legs is dropping and possible gangrene is setting in. He was week because he was also not able to eat due to the original surgery. As it turned out gangrene did set in and both his legs had to amputated. Even after this was done the infection continued to create more problems. His wife and family were with him continuously, his wife is/was pregnant with their third child. As I said, Kevin died on September 12.

His wife gave birth to his daughter on September 14, 2010.

This was a needless death in the name of losing weight. He was quite over weight and loved to eat. I truly believe if he had taken the path of diet and exercise he would still be here today. Yes there are people that have medical issues that will cause weight gain and make it damn near impossible to lose the weight without drastic matters, but he had lost weight the past and I think he could have done it again.  Weight gain/lose is a mindset… You choose which direction you are going. Exercise and diet will make it happen… another co-worker has lost over 40lbs simply by changing her diet and being very strict regardless of what lunch place is chosen.

This is simply a bad thing… His wife will raise three children alone, with the help of family but without a Dad.

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, General, Parenting | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hapkido workout

Last night we had a good Hapkido workout. After our usual warm up exercises we did 400 kicking drills to help strengthen our kicking muscle… Yes I mean the hip and gluts. Then we went right into sitting stance for 200+ punches, all this done in about 15 minutes. Needless to say it really showed me and others that we need to be in better shape. Our class is primarily made of those of us over 40 with a few teens. It was kinda fun to see the teens struggling like we were but kinda sad also, I would expect them to be more fit.

After all that we started working on the skills for our next testing. I am working on throws. An attacker would grab my arm then I will escape then either throw or push the attacker to the ground. I was working with one of our Black Belts who is 6ft+ about 250 while I am 5-5 and 200, I’m not fat… It was a bit of work to figure out how to use some of the techniques on someone so much taller than I am. The throws were the tough ones, the push ans sweeps were much more comfortable and made since.

After that we started our class ending exercises where we did 300 crunches, many in the class stopped somewhere after 100… I was the last one to finish but I got the 300 completed. I wonder if some that said they completed the 300 really did, some of them I think in worse shape then I am. Oh well that’s between them our instructor.

It was a great workout, I’ll be at class tonight looking forward to another workout.

September 2, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Return to Hapkido

Last night’s workout was much better than Tuesdays, I still have to move slow but range of motion is better. I didn’t realize how much better I felt when I was getting to class regularly until this recent injury. All of the old guys (an age reference that includes me) were in class last night, we were put through a GOOD stretching warm-up to avoid injuries as our instructor told us. We, the Hapkido students, were tasked with teaching a few techniques to the Tae Kwon Do students. They were told they should know some basic escape techniques not just the punching and kicking they usually work on. I like helping others get an understanding of the techniques, it helps me learn them better which helps me also.

The technique we were working on was a two grab escape. When done properly there is little your attacker can do other than comply to your will.

All in all it was good to workout harder than Tuesday and I see good progress in the healing of my leg. I think I will be able to go full out in the next two or three weeks.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to workouts

Last night was my first practice since I tore my right calf muscle. The workout was light and was just what I needed… After the workout I had more movement in my leg, now my walking has a less visible limp. All I worked on was the “Meditation” form, it is a slow moving form where you concentrate on breathing and movement control. There are 30+ steps, it takes a couple of minutes to get through when done right.

Thursday I hope to work on some of the escape techniques, these will be more difficult to do slow but I have no choice right now.

Tearing a calf muscle is one thing I hope I never do again. I have injured both and decided I don’t want to injure them again. There is a fair amount of pain and discomfort and wasted time waiting for it to heal. I am very frustrated by the injury because it is slowing me down when I felt I was gaining momentum in my understanding of Hapkido techniques. I am also frustrated that my body is not able to perform the tasks I want to. Being out of shape and getting older REALLY sucks!

August 25, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do | , , , , | Leave a comment