As some of you may know, a small group of E.S.K.K dojo members are going with Chris to Okinawa in March 2014 to train hard and bathe in the amazing culture at the very birthplace of karate. We will also be celebrating our 10th anniversary as a group in the same month, making this particular trip even more special.
One of our members, Kelvin McDonald, never noticed that occasionally, he was quietly included in the headcount for the Okinawa trip. He also never noticed that his good lady wife, Kerry, sometimes wasn't home at the same time as our planned meetings. He was far too busy wishing he was able to go to Okinawa and was fed up listening to us talk about what a fantastic experience it is going to be!
Well, on Tuesday Kelvin certainly got a lesson in paying attention for his 40th Birthday...
It's not unusual for us all to wish a fellow member Happy Birthday at the start of class. It's also not unusual for us all to sign a card and present a token gift too if it's a milestone birthday. What was unusual though in Kelvin's case is that his fantastic wife had secretly turned up at the dojo with family members to present him with a very special gift.
Kelvin had already turned the shade of 'embarrassed red' at us all wishing him Happy Birthday, when Sensei slipped outside to collect his 'surprise gift'. He was literally speechless to see his family follow Sensei through the door to hand over an envelope with a "ticket" to Okinawa inside!
I've seen Kelvin look nervous before a grading; I've seen him get "in the zone" in preparation for hard training; but this was a new look completely! Shock, surprise, bewilderment, disbelief and wonder turned slowly to overwhelming emotion as realisation dawned on him that his fantastic was actually treating him to the trip of lifetime!
It became very emotional for us all and it was lovely to see such a dedicated member of our dojo have the opportunity to experience this amazing event. There wasn't a dry eye in the house!
Oh and by the way Kelvin, your wife has suggested that you take two extra bags to fit her gifts in!
A big thank you goes out to Kerry for having us all be part of such a fantastic surprise and Kelvin...we look forward to having you on-board the Okinawa Express!