20 years ago, today, I taught my first martial arts class in Longmont, Colorado.

I had been in the state for about 4 months by the time I could find a facility I could teach out of.

Back then, the commercial real estate market in Longmont was much tighter, with far fewer available sites than there are now.

While I was searching for a permanent home for my school, I knew I had to start teaching somewhere to begin building a student base.

I found a room to rent and began advertising in January of 1998.

Finally, on Monday February 23rd, 1998 I taught my first class at the now-defunct Downtown Gym on 6th and Main, where the Pumphouse Brewery is now. It wasn’t ideal, but it was a start.

I had a grand total of 5 students — 2 kids and 3 adults.

After having moved across the country in pursuit of my dream to teach and build my future in our beautiful state, this first class felt like the dawn of a whole new life.

As excited as I was that day, I couldn’t have imagined the wonderful people I’ve met, the gorgeous places I’ve seen and the enriching experiences I have had over these past 20 years in Colorado.

In many ways life is improved with little changes implemented daily and over time, however, sometimes you need to make One Big Decision that will set your life on a new, higher path, like I did 20 years ago.

If you have been thinking about making a big change for awhile, some dream that refuses to leave you alone, odds are if you go for it your life will be all the better for the effort.