Guilderland, NY – When I see my children and their friends demonstrate great character, it occurs to me to write about it. For this installment I will write the story for you and let you find all of the character qualities you can, like a puzzle. There is no answer key, but for anyone, especially my students, it would be a great exercise to see how many you can come up with as a great lesson. I would also like to point out that I truly believe that many of the character qualities you will discover in my son Tamer and his friend Brian are present in their personality because of their family, each other and their martial arts training. Tamer’s wife Emily has not trained in the martial arts, but possesses truly excellent blackbelt character. I hope to get her to participate in some practical self-defense training with Mrs. Rice at one of our events soon, where for the first time ever I can have two students in class named Mrs. Rice.
Tamer was recently working at an internship at Blue Origin, an aerospace company located in Seattle. This was an amazing opportunity and learning experience, but for this article I will focus on his activities outside of work. Being on the West Coast, Tamer made great use of his time snowboarding and hiking in the wonderful landscape. On one particular snowboarding adventure with Brian, Tamer was hit early in the day by an out of control skier and was knocked down. He suffered a broken collar bone and yes, children, listen to your parents, he was wearing a proper helmet that saved him from head injury.
After being transported to the bottom of the mountain and being cleared by local medical staff by passing a concussion test, Brian took on the job of getting Tamer to a hospital since they knew his collar bone was broken. Brian decided to get to a close by hospital to make sure Tamer was alright, but it still took more than an hour to arrive. Brian constantly talked to Tamer and showed high spirits while trying to work his way to the hospital. Once there, Tamer received full medical attention and was cleared to go home with the advice to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon since the break caused the bone to be significantly displaced. The friends set out on yet another hour long ride back to Seattle. Brian remained by his side through this adventure, handling all of the logistics and paper work, always talking happily and positively to keep Tamer’s spirits up.
We didn’t sleep much that evening from worry. Emily dropped everything and began planning a quick departure for Seattle. We helped her get prepared and to the airport before sunrise so she could get to Tamer’s side as soon as possible. Even though the snowboarding trip ended quite quickly for Brian, he remained with Tamer for a few days to help out after Emily arrived. The next week was to be Tamer’s last at Blue Origin and there was work to do and events to attend. He did follow doctor’s instructions, but he went to every event to end that internship with aplomb. Emily and Tamer were supposed to have a slow and action-packed road trip back at the end of the internship. Although it changed slightly, they still drove the 3,000 some miles home together, visiting and hiking when possible, enjoying the time together and the places to see.
When he returned to RPI, Tamer got right back to work, not missing a beat, followed up with doctors and went right back out west to install components on a wind turbine for an experiment. You can embrace life fully in all of what you are given or you can make excuses and lay back or withdraw. Great job Tamer for living to the fullest and great job Emily and Brian, you represent what it really means to be a part of a family.