I started Judo, officially, in the early 70’s, around the age of 9 when my younger siblings also joined. My parents met in judo, through a mutual friend, Fran Vall, at Washington Judo Club. I started judo at Berwyn Heights Rec Center and moved to the Beltsville Rec Center when the club moved. I competed a lot as a child and did well, but I was not nationally ranked. I earned my black belt in 1986; however, working nights and some weekends made regular practice difficult. After I got married in 1988 and moved to Virginia Beach, I practiced with Mike Storm for as long as I could, but being pregnant, he was concerned about me being on the mat. Once my daughter was born, we stopped going since I couldn’t bring her on the mat with me. When we moved back to the Northern Virginia area in 1994, I helped out more as support staff, cooking and working the tables, in between having 2 more children and getting my middle child through a bout of childhood cancer. All three of my children practiced judo for a while in the early-mid 2000’s at Dale City Judo Club because it was the closest club to the house. I started practicing kata again and earned my 2nd degree black belt in 2014. I have continued kata with my partner, Leah. We are currently nationally ranked, and have added a new kata each of the last 3 years we competed at the Nationals. We now compete in 3 katas and I am relearning Ju No Kata. I gave up doing Katame No Kata when my knees started giving me trouble. I earned my Sandan in November 2017.
Outside of judo, until recently, I was very involved with the Boy Scouts as the troop merit badge coordinator and a Committee member. Both of my sons earned their Eagle Scout rank around the age of 14 and continued to be active in the troop well after they earned their Eagle. My youngest son still participates with the troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. I was also heavily involved with the Boy Scout Order of the Arrow, the honor society of Boy Scouts, as the Ceremony Team leader for about 7 years. We performed over 20 ceremonies a year from December to May assisting the Cub Scout bridge to Boy Scouts and worked with the Boy Scout doing other ceremonies for the Ordeals. I also enjoy cross stitching and made ornaments every for my family for the past 22 years and many birth and wedding samplers. I have 3 children and 3 grandchildren.
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