MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – During the pandemic lockdown, many people were left searching for a new challenge.
Something to feel energized again.
A 75-year-old Murfreesboro woman echoed that sentiment and jumped right into an unlikely adventure.
It started when Darlene Baker wanted to find a way to feel closer to God.
“As we age, we all realize we’re getting closer to home every day,” Baker said through a chuckle.
So, when a minister at her church recommended a spiritual program, she jumped at the opportunity. But, Ken Carlson’s Five Stones Breakthrough included more than just scripture.
“I was really interested, no so much in the Taekwondo, as I was in increasing my spiritual life,” she said.
She, with the help of her husband, cleared out the garage and turned it into a dojo.
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“We worked out, I’d say seven days a week a lot of times, and so it got easier, but boy it took a while. It’s a lot of work. Yeah, I’m hurting. I’ve had a bum hip, I have a bum shoulder, a bum elbow, but you just do what you can to make that better and just keep moving.”
She kept moving and in about a year and a half, Darlene, wo was 74 at the time, earned her black belt.
“For her to get her black belt at that age, first off getting it period,” said Carlson. “Getting it period is not easy, but for her to get that at that age, it makes it extra special.”
Although she’s still the same Darlene, she admits, the new title can effect how people view her.
“My friends joke about it, but I don’t think I’m in danger of harming anybody,” she said.
Darlene said she’s saving her moves for the mat, but she’s still has them at her disposal.
“I don’t ever expect to use it, to take anybody down. I hope I don’t ever have to, but to know you have some skills that you could protect yourself, at least a little bit more than you could before, is a good feeling.”
To learn more about the Five Stones Breakthrough program, visit their website.