UNEXPECTED JOURNEYS IN IRELAND
SHARING MEMORIES WITH MY SON
other side of the road, and we forgot several times. We also had the chance to walk down the Cliffs of Moher. It was a last-minute decision that gave us an incredible memory to look back on. The walk was several miles long, and we packed a lunch to bring with us. Being so high up and seeing the seagulls below you with the waves crashing down was beautiful and one of the best experiences we had there. Another particularly memorable and unexpected moment was when we made reservations at a hostel in Dublin. When we arrived, it didn’t look like the safest place to stay. For one, several police officers were outside the building. Luckily, they took one look at us, noticed right away that we weren’t in the right place, and told us we needed to find another place to stay. Finding accommodations at the last minute in downtown Dublin is not an easy task, but it was quite the adventure! Our group ended up heading to one of the several internet cafes. Each of us had to wait to get in front of a computer to find a place to stay for the next few days. It took us a while, but we did eventually find a hotel. Our group had to split up in threes and twos among several rooms. Keith, one of his friends, and I squeezed into a tiny room where one of us had to sleep on the floor. Yet, we felt far safer and had a fantastic time. The hotel we stayed in was in a perfect place downtown with lots of nearby restaurants and activities that we got to experience, which I doubt would have been the case if we stayed at the hostel. It was quite the unexpected journey for us. As I remember this amazing trip, I can’t help but see how it relates to the journey we, as martial artists, take as we train. Every day leads to something new and exciting as you learn about this practice and teach your body to do something it’s never done before. You learn how to adapt to the culture imbued within martial arts, much like taking a trip to Ireland and immersing yourself in their culture. The key is to enjoy and respect the differences you encounter.
Everyone embarks on some kind of journey in their life, and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many. Training to be a martial artist, becoming a mother, and working so hard for the academy with my husband have all been wonderful journeys of my own. Sometimes, though, the unexpected adventures are the most memorable. On St. Patrick’s Day nearly 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of going on a trip with my son and a group of others to Ireland for two weeks. Keith was 15 at the time and had wanted to visit the country very badly, but I didn’t want him to go without taking his father or myself along. He planned everything for the trip and wanted me to go with him. The two of us went with about eight other people, and while we did have some plans for what we wanted to do, there were some unexpected twists and turns that ended up being a lot of fun.
If you ever come across an opportunity to embark on an unexpected adventure, I hope you don’t hesitate to take that chance.
We look back on so many things from that trip and laugh at the memories. It took us quite a while to get used to driving on the
– Amanda Olson
THE POWER OF PRETEND
IMAGINARY FRIENDS PROMOTE REAL LIFE SKILLS
for bed. They also provide a window into the way your child’s mind works by encouraging the vocalization of thoughts and feelings they may not otherwise share. Imaginary friends are often a proxy for the children who invent them, so the conversations your child has with or about their friend can provide a lot of insight into how your child views the world and themselves. Imaginary friends are so important to how some children learn and grow that they’ve been featured in pop culture for many years. Entertainment like “Calvin and Hobbes,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” and even adult shows like “Supernatural” — which featured an episode about a main character’s childhood imaginary friend returning to teach him valuable lessons as an adult — portray the inventors of imaginary friends as outgoing and creative. It just goes to show that letting the imagination run wild not only encourages healthy development but can also lead to lots of fun.
Studies show that up to 50% of young children have imaginary companions, ranging from entirely conjured entities to beloved stuffed animals. The popular social stigma around imaginary friends is that these children must be shy or lonely, but psychologists disagree. In fact, if your child develops an imaginary friend, most psychologists say it’s an activity you should promote instead of discourage. Psychologists claim that the invention of an entire friendly persona points to the fact that the child is both creative and highly social. Imaginary scenarios also give kids an opportunity to indulge in their wildest aspirations, like going to the moon or inventing a time machine. Their creativity gives them the ability to dream, explore, and experiment in useful ways. Imaginary friends can also be there to comfort your child when they’re feeling down or experiencing a tantrum, which is helpful when they are learning how to manage their emotions. There are also many ways parents can take part in interactions with imaginary friends to strengthen their own relationship with their child. Imaginary friends can make interactive play more meaningful and can be useful in accomplishing daily routines, like cleaning up or getting ready GET THE MOST OUT OF SPRINGWEATHER The weather is getting warmer, which means one thing: Spring is here at last! After nice weather hiding away for several months, it’s no wonder people are eager to get outside and enjoy everything Johnson City has to offer us. Here are a few suggestions for making the most out of the season. PREP YOUR GARDEN. Gardening is a wonderful pastime that anyone can enjoy! March is a great time to get your garden in shape and plant your seeds. Before you start planting, begin by cleaning out any debris left from the winter, fix broken fences or gates, check your tools, and purchase seeds and bulbs you’d like to grow. To make growing a garden even better, get the whole family involved. Let the kids help you clean out the garden and have them pick out a few seeds they’d like to see grow. MAKE YOUR WAY OUTDOORS. People who are eager to get away from home for a while and enjoy the outdoors can experience it in many different forms. Whether you enjoy camping, hiking, biking, or walking, there’s plenty for you to do throughout Johnson City. For a full list of hiking, walking, and biking trails, visit JohnsonCityTN.org and plan for a day trip with the family or a group of friends. Alternatively, if you want to get away for a few days, plan an overnight camping trip to one of the many fantastic camping sites around our city.
ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS. Looking for other activities to enjoy? Here are a few more options you can check out this spring. • Spending time at the park: Spring is the perfect time to head to the park and have a picnic, fly a kite, or watch your kids play on the playground. • Making bird feeders: Making your own bird feeder is fun and rewarding, and there’s plenty of techniques to follow. Check out TheSpruceCrafts.com for a few ideas. • Going to the Johnson City Farmers Market: Next month, the farmers market is opening once again. Don’t miss the chance to pick out fresh fruits and vegetables, chat with other marketgoers, and admire the arts and crafts on display.
Take this opportunity to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring air!
STAY FIT EVEN WHILE ON VACATION
DON’T MISS A DAY OF TRAINING
When families start thinking about joining our dojo, it’s not uncommon to have some questions about the studio and staff. We at Olson’s Martial Arts Academy understand this and are here to answer any questions that you might have. Owner and instructor Master Amanda Olson can respond to your concerns quickly and factually. If you have any questions, you can reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
We can all agree that taking breaks is good for us. Getting out of the office, away from school, or even just out of the house for a few days can reenergize you, increase motivation, and refresh your mind. However, taking too long of a break from martial arts leads to loss of the skills you’ve trained for and learned. If you have a vacation coming up and don’t want to miss a day of training, here are a few things you can do. INVOLVE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY. One of the best ways to stay fit while you’re on a trip is to get involved in physical activities. Keep an eye out for walking tours, biking activities, or hiking trails you can enjoy while immersing yourself in the city, country, and community you’re visiting. It’s also crucial to plan ahead for these future workouts; be sure to bring appropriate attire and determine when and where you’ll be able to exercise. LOOK UP OTHER SCHOOLS. Long trips increase the chance of falling out of a regular workout or training schedule. In cases like these, it’s beneficial to look up local martial arts schools to enroll in for a short while. While this can help students with regular training, other schools will have different protocols and teaching methods that can disrupt what you’ve already learned. So before taking this step, do plenty of research and ask one of our teachers if this is the right choice for you.
PESTO CHICKENWITH BLISTERED TOMATOES INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness
6 tbsp spinach pesto
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
1 tsp red wine vinegar
PRACTICE YOUR FORMS. If your room is large enough or if your accommodations are close to a park, then go through the forms you’ve already learned. Students should already be practicing at home what they’ve learned in school to keep forms top of mind, so going through them on your trip can also be beneficial. Not only does it keep your body fit and mind sharp, but it also improves your form. Practice makes perfect. The most important part of your trip is to not let your training prevent you from enjoying your break. With careful planning and determination, you can exercise and get the most from your vacation.
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture. 5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.
Inspired by CookingLight.com
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113 CHERRY ST. #10 JOHNSON CITY, TN 37604
EMBARKING INTO THE UNKNOWN
FORGING IMAGINARY FRIENDSHIPS
ENJOYING SPRING IN JOHNSON CITY!
MARTIAL ARTS ON VACATION?
PESTO CHICKENWITH BLISTERED TOMATOES
CELEBRATING NATIONAL MOM AND POP BUSINESS OWNERS DAY
GIVING BACK TO LOCAL COMPANIES ON NATIONAL MOM AND POP BUSINESS OWNERS DAY March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, which is huge for small businesses everywhere. Mom-and-pop businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy; Small Business Trends reports that mom-and-pop businesses account for 64% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generate 78% of all new jobs. Furthermore, no matter what turns the economy takes, small- this day to shop for birthday and holiday gifts for your loved ones that will bring them great joy and last a lifetime. GET SOCIAL AND SPREAD THE WORD! While small businesses utilize every form of marketing available, social media is essential for their success and growth. After shopping at your favorite mom-and-pop business, share that experience on your social media! When you write a post on Facebook or take a picture for Instagram,
business owners are less likely to lay off their employees than big corporations. Mom-and-pop businesses support all communities, and you can support them by celebrating this unofficial holiday! GIVE YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY A BOOST! Shopping locally has a massive impact on your community. Local businesses return three times the amount of money to the local economy than larger corporations do. With that big of a returned investment, your community can support even more small businesses that generate a wealth of jobs and keep the cycle going. In addition to the economic boost, products from small businesses are usually higher quality, which makes them a better value for your dollar. Take
be sure to tag the business and use relevant hashtags so your friends, family, and everyone else in your community can shop there too. Writing reviews on Google Reviews and Yelp helps establish validity for the company. When another potential customer looks for reviews, they know they’re getting quality products and services from a well-established pillar of the community. The local businesses that are active on social media may post deals and sales for that day only, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow all your favorite businesses!
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