Adulthood Came Early For Me



My father was killed when a drunk driver jumped the curb and struck him on the sidewalk. I was 7 years old. The tragedy was crippling for our family, emotionally and financially. My grandmother moved in and we had support from the church, neighbors, and friends.

Helping To Support My Family

My older brother told me he and I needed to help out, so I got a paper route and he made pizza at Avenue Pizzaria. I delivered 70 papers a day during the week and 350 on Sundays. Working at such a young age didn’t bother me because I was helping support the family. (Mom actually returned part of my pay for a decent allowance.)

It was through my paper route I met Ollie, our mailman. His route coincided with my paper route and I, being kind of a clingy kid, latched on to Ollie. We took a liking to each other, which was a good thing because after I introduced Ollie to my mother, they soon married and I had a step-father.

I never compared my father with Ollie. Dad died when I was young, so I just got to know Ollie better than I knew my dad. Which made it very difficult when Ollie had a heart attack and died. I was 14.

These were devastating events for me and my family. At times I thought my mother might have a nervous breakdown. And, yet, it’s through these tragedies that I learned two valuable lessons.

Strong Work Ethic

I attribute my strong work ethic to my childhood. A terrible thing happened to our family and I answered the call. We all pulled together as a family to make ends meet. It showed me that through hard work you can accomplish anything, even if it seems impossible.

I also learned that nothing lasts forever.

This is a valuable lesson to learn at young age. Not to be morose, but knowing at any moment it might all end gives you the courage to try and do things you might otherwise never try. Whether it’s traveling the planet, playing the piano, or climbing Mount Everest…you never know when it’ll be your time, so go out and do it!

Hard work will give you what you want out of life, and knowing it can end at any moment helps you appreciate all that you have.

Learning these lessons at a young age has allowed me to accomplish a great deal in my life.



Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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