Lafayette, LA (KADN) — Taekwondo is about practice, progression, and perseverance. It takes nine more belts to go from beginner to black belt. However, Julianna Porche's journey didn't start on a mat, but in a stalled Mazda Protege.
"On June 12, 2002, I got hit on the driver's side of my car by a train," Porche said. "My car stalled. It was a brand new vehicle. It was only a few weeks old. It was an obstructed view where there was a tree hanging on over the tracks."
Porche was hit in Sherman, Texas. She had nine broken ribs and post-traumatic stress disorder. The doctors said she would never live a normal life. Despite those projections, she was walking three months later less than three years later, taekwondo became her new normal.
"I've never been one that likes to hear no," Porche said. "I also come from a family of positivity. One day in a catalog I saw taekwondo and I said I always wanted to try that. It was like I was always meant to do this. Especially with the focus and the concentration."
Porche tried martial arts in 5th grade, but she had too many other hobbies to give it a real try. Now taekwondo played a key role in her recovery.
"A lot of my anger from the accident subsided when I was doing taekwondo," Porche said.
Porche is a black belt and has won 15 medals with taekwondo. Now she teaches women and children self-defense.
"A billion people can tell you no, for different reasons, but if you tell yourself, 'yes, I can do this," Porche said. "If I can be that example of, yes, I can do this, then I am happy to be there."
She's finishing her second book and wants to be a motivational speaker. When you are facing defeat, Julianna says, it is not over.
"You are not a statistic, ever," Porche said. "You can make a positive change no matter what your setback is. To every no, there is always a yes. You just have to find it."