“Because You’re Fat & Out of Shape.”

In Coaching, Community, Confidence, Discipline, Excellence by Don Alley

“How dare you say that to me!! Fat?! Out of shape?! If I wasn’t eleven years old I would—“ 

That was all in my head. I was outraged. And I was hurt. 

There was a young and inexperienced instructor teaching the karate class, and he saw me struggling on a technique. He came over to help, and in frustration, I think I said something to the degree of “I can’t do it.” His reply:

“That’s because you’re fat and out of shape.”

What’s interesting and worth noting is, as an adult over 26 years later, I don’t remember much about him. I don’t recall him being a good or bad martial artist. I don’t remember if Master Arthur (my Instructor) liked him, praised him, or enjoyed him being on the team. 

I only remember one thing: How he made me feel. 

Our words are so powerful. We can use them to tear people down, build people up, make them feel like they are worthless, or add value to their lives. 

All with what we say. 

Choose kindness. Choose patience. Choose love. And our friends, our families, and our community will be stronger for it ❤️


Don Alley
Don Alley is the owner and chief instructor at Super Kicks Karate in Ashburn and Leesburg, and has been training in the martial arts for 28 years. He is currently a 6th degree black belt, and has dedicated the entirety of his adult life to teaching children and families martial arts. He is also the owner of Center Stage Preschool, a Montessori-based, performing arts preschool; and co-founder of Testudo Addiction Recovery, a non-profit organization serving families in the Northern Virginia area.