• Spencer Bennington

Thanksgiving Special!

Welcome back to Rhetorical Roundhouse, the blog for Tae Kwon Do and rhetorical studies. Last week I provided a riveting update on my dissertation progress so please check that out if you haven't already.


This week is a very special week for me because I get to celebrate my favorite holiday--Thanksgiving! Why is it my favorite? Because deep down, I'm still a fat kid at heart, one who loves turkey, dressing, taters, mac-n-cheese, cranberry sauce, pumpkin roll, and sweet potato pie!



YUMMM! A feast of a plate

Pumpkin roll for those of you who haven't had the pleasure

But that's not all, I love Thanksgiving because it's one of the few holidays left where you get to focus on having a sit-down meal with the people who matter most in your life. You get to spend time at home with loved ones and reflect on all the things that you are thankful for, all the things that make life worth living ( like the aforementioned turkey and pie).


Hosted a little Pre-thanksgiving so I could keep my cooking muscles strong


Thankful for such lovely friends :)

So today I wanted to spend the time to write about a few things that I'm thankful for in my martial arts life and hopefully inspire you all to do the same.


First, I have to say that I'm very grateful for my local Tae Kwon Do community in Tampa. Where I train and work at US Tae Kwon Do is one of the friendliest, most supportive martial arts communities that I've ever been involved with. Master Vahid, my co-workers, and the students at the dojang all push me to be my best every time I walk through the door and that is something truly invaluable. For example, I recently got the opportunity to watch our demonstration team perform in the Wiregrass Shopping center on the main stage in front of a giant Christmas tree. The team did an amazing job as always despite it being the third show on a cold night. Watching a performance like that inspires me to be even better so that I can one day help students achieve their own personal best through Tae Kwon Do.


Take a look at this highlight video I put together and tell me you're not inspired to kick boards to the beat of Christmas carols.




Next, I'm always grateful that when I visit my home state of Virginia there is a Tae Kwon Do family waiting for me with open arms at Pil Seung Tae Kwon Do in Blacksburg. Master Rupert and my colleagues there always manage to be a support group no matter how far I travel from them. It's a good feeling to know that there's a place you can always call home. I can't wait to see you all in just a few weeks!



A cool collage of the Pil Seung family in action (and I'm even hiding in there!)

Finally, I'm so thankful that I live in a place that allows me to train outside in beautiful weather almost year-round. Just a couple of days ago I had the pleasure of stretching and practicing some slow kicks at Madeira Beach...in late NOVEMBER! Can you believe that? Furthermore, I'm thankful that my job affords me the time and flexibility to take these kinds of beach trips with my co-workers.



Side kicks still aren't perfect, but they're improving


Doesn't get much better



Where would I be without teachers/mentors/friends/shrimps like these. Thank you Lisa and all the others who have helped me grow into someone greater than I was before

So what do I do with all this thankfulness? I try to think of ways I can give generously to others so that they might be inspired to work toward making this world a better place. Recently I decided to make care packages for the needy, little brown bags filled with food, treats, some socks, and a list of local resources in the Tampa Bay area to help the housing/food insecure. Often I see people asking for help, but feel conflicted about giving cash (if I'm even carrying any on me). So, I decided that I would start keeping a couple of these bags in my car at all times for these occasions. So far I've given one to a gentleman who may not have had anything else to eat that day. And for this, for what I have in abundance that I can share with others, I am thankful.


I do have quite a few of these care packages so if you live in Tampa and like this idea, contact me and I'll be happy to give you one. All I ask is that if you take one, make one! By this I mean make a care package for yourself in the future, make one to spread the idea for a friend, or just make some other kind of charitable gesture that demonstrates what in this world you are grateful for. If you work at USF I will keep some of these bags in my office on campus and if you are affiliated with US Tae Kwon Do we have some at the dojang as well.


That's all for today--I hope everyone has a very happy Thanksgiving and takes some time to reflect on all the blessings they have. With any luck, you'll realize you have enough to share and make someone else's day a little brighter.


As always, thank you for reading.


Kamsahamnida!




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