Quest’s Black Belt of the month is Serena Sullivan. Serena got her 1st Dan last June and as her way of giving back to her taekwondo family, she always takes time to assist in the junior classes. It is a pleasure watching her teach and instruct the younger students with their poomsae, as she always does it with patience and grace.
A respectful young lady with a sunny disposition and always with a smile on her face, it is so easy to adore Serena. Let’s get to know her better as she lets us in on her dreams and goals, snippets of her words of wisdom, and brief insights of who she is outside of taekwondo.
Serena how old are you now and at what age did you start taekwondo? — “I am 10 years old and started Taekwondo when I was 5.”
What is it that you like about taekwondo and what is your ultimate goal as a taekwondo athlete? — “My favorite thing about taekwondo is probably poomsae. And my ultimate goal is probably to become the greatest black belt ever, on the outside, and inside.”
Tell us about a peak moment in taekwondo, one that you are especially proud of and will never forget. — “My most important memory in taekwondo is being handed my black belt, I brought it to school the following Monday to show everyone, and it is very important.“
How did you feel when you first competed? — “When I first competed I was nervous and scared when I got in there, but I felt really good about my poomsae.”
Other than being an avid taekwondo martial artist please share with us your other accomplishments outside of taekwondo. — “At school I have won first place in a literature contest. Last year I also made the all-star team for my soccer league. I have also made it into a gate program at school. At school I can also run for treasurer this year, and am running for it.“
What advice would you give a beginner student who wants to be a black belt someday? — “It’s a long road, but it’s definitely worth it. It takes four, five, even six years to become a black belt, and hard things will try and stop you. But if you really dream of being a black belt, you need to push over that bump on the road and continue forth.”
You are very good at leading and assisting the junior belts’ classes. Where do you think did that gift come from or how did you develop that ability? — “I have a younger, mischievous brother, that I watch out for all the time, and I have to help him a lot. I also help my mom, so I enjoy helping other people.”
What are your favorite things? — “My favorite color is green. And my favorite animal is a wolf and a husky because they’re strong. I like brownies and cookies and ice cream. And I like typing and writing, and math.”
How about pet peeves…what are things you just dislike? — “I hate when I, or someone else (mostly my brother) leaves something at home, and we have to go back and get it. I also dislike a lot of loud noises.”
If you were a fictional character who or what would you be and why that character? — “If I were a fictional character, I would be a dog named Arrow from a book called Survivors by Erin Hunter. I would be him because he was once an evil dog, but realized his wrong and turned good. But everyone still hated him and he attacked no one. He then ran away and started a family, but his mate, and one of his pups died, He is brave, strong, smart, courageous, and kind. Everything I want to be.”
Please finish this sentence: “Most people don’t know that … “I write with my left hand, but do almost everything else with my right, I throw, I cut, you name it and I probably do it with my right hand.”
If your friends and family were to describe you, what adjectives would they use? — “Smart, kindhearted, creative, sweet, joyful, loving, and fun.”
If there is one famous person you could spend the whole day with, who would that be, and what would you talk about? — “I would spend my day with Taylor Swift. I love her songs and she had a hard life but stayed strong. We would probably talk about normal things, and I’d ask for an autograph and a picture.”
What do you think is the most important thing that young people these days should learn as they’re growing up? — “As you’re growing up you should know to be kind, and caring, and sweet, no matter what happens to them or their friends.”
What words of wisdom can you share with other young people your age? — “Be the best person you can be. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you. You do what you do and like what you like, just be yourself.”
Are there other things you want the readers to know about ‘SERENA SULLIVAN” that we haven’t asked you in this interview? — “I have a pug and a cat. I also have two brothers. I have known my group of school friends since kindergarten.”
Lastly, tell us about your wish this moment and maybe someone who’s reading this can make that wish come true. —“I wish that I will be an author when I grow up and have a pet husky.”
So folks, don’t be surprised if you find one of Serena Sullivan’s books on the NY Times Best Sellers list years from now! With her love for huskies, it will surely be a book about adventures in the wild.
Visit us again next month for another “Up Close and Personal” with one of our intriguing Black Belt personality.
If you’re in the South Bay area, swing by Quest Taekwondo and watch these amazing young Black Belts and future Black Belts train. We have every taekwondo and fitness program to suit every age group and physical profile. Check out our home page for new promotions and offers.
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Until then… “Martial arts, like any art, is an unrestricted athletic expression of an individual soul.” Bruce Lee