Monday, February 7, 2011

I am going to hire a person to kick my butt when I stop working...

And this lady certainly can kick butt...

Meet an old pal of mine from my karate days...Jeanette Wilde Anderson. These days, Jeanette sells home-made crocheted items and she still works as a product demonstrator at Costco.  Does she still do Tai Chi and Kenpo? Sometimes, for the exercise. But like me, she values her bones and her brains...either of which can get messed up if a student kicks you in the wrong place.

Jeanette and I traveled for years to various tournaments around the country, winning trophies and enjoying the camaraderie of meeting new people and maintaining old ties. We taught together in her school for years, and then we just...stopped.  You know how stuff can get to you? How things you truly loved doing can just sorta slip into the limbo where you can't seem to reach them anymore, but where you can recall everything that you achieved?

This week is my week to give tribute to special friends I have treasured over the years...lauding their contributions to my life and to the lives of others they have touched.  Can you believe that the woman above is turning 70 this year? That she still looks about 45? Of course, I hate her. KIDDING! 

This woman in one of my heroes. She showed me that starting martial arts at the ripe old age of 45 is not a frivolous thing...nor is it impossible.  Jeanette also began her martial arts career at 45, and was a brown belt when I began also at age 45.  She tested for her black belt and received it shortly after I got my Orange belt (I moved up fast...being old, I didn't want to waste precious time). I was amazed that this tiny person (about 5 feet tall) could actually take down a man who stood 6 feet and weighed over 200 pounds. She was my bright beacon in the frightening darkness of a newly-divorced woman doing all the things she couldn't do while she was married.

I have always revered women who could manage to survive and do it very well in a man's world.  Jeanette was one of those women.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to call her my friend.

Come back again for my next tribute to a special friend...


Fran Lee


  1. Wow! Amazing! What an incredible woman, great memories and such a good friend for you!

  2. She truly has been a wonderful friend.

  3. Beautiful tribute to an inspiring woman!
    XXOO Kat

  4. Great story. And Fran, don't downplay your own accomplishments. You're pretty freaking amazing, too!

  5. Great post. A wonderfull woman paying tribute to another wonderful woman. Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone payed tribute to people who have influenced them somehow in their lives?

  6. Oh, that's a great tribute! Our friends make all the difference in our worlds, don't they? Wonderful woman!

  7. Such a wonderful tribute, Fran and I agree with others here. You are ALSO pretty damn amazing.

  8. Great post, Fran! You're pretty amazing yourself:)


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