Jack started Tae Kwon Do a few months before he was diagnosed with JIA just over 2 years ago. Since then he has successfully moved up each belt towards his ultimate goal – black belt, and he has won medals at competitions, a trophy for student of the year at his club, and an award for the best student at one of his gradings. Safe to say he has found the sport for him.
Unfortunately Jack has been suffering since Christmas with a pretty bad flare up resulting in more steroid injections and new medication to try to control it. This resulted in him missing out on Tae Kwon Do training and not being able to give 100% most sessions.
About 6 weeks ago he came home in tears saying that he felt that it was maybe time to give up Tae Kwon Do, as he just couldn’t give his training his all, and in his words ‘let his arthritis win’. He was pretty down. This was devastating to hear, a 10 year old should have no cares in the world at all.
I talked him into giving his new medication a chance for a few weeks and see how he went and although he agreed, he was convinced that his instructor would not put him forward for the next grading to gain the next belt because he would ‘not be good enough’. I told him to focus on trying his best if it wasnt the best he could be it was at least his best for now.
A few weeks later Jacks Tae Kwon Do instructor handed out grading forms for those students ready, Jack was first to get a form. We were all amazed at how despite struggling he had still shown that he could give enough to progress. The grading was last weekend with a competition also and Jack passed, and gained 2 medals at the competition.
We are very proud of him. Jack wanted me to share this with you for the simple message of ‘don’t let arthritis win’. Two belts to go to black belt!
By Lydsay, Jacks mum