“We don’t practice to be perfect. We practice to grow. Let’s take the ‘can’t’ out of it.”
Michelle McLain joined her family as a BAEPLEX member, following her son, then daughter, then husband.
“Chloe who started in the Little Ninjas after her big brother Joshua began four years ago as part of a Williamsburg-James City County Schools program with BAEPLEX. After the kids enrolled, then Chris and I joined, so it’s a family affair,” she said.
Prior to starting her martial arts training, Michelle took kickboxing classes with Mr. Horne and lost nearly 70 pounds over the course of a year.
A former competitive roller skater, McLain was no stranger to intense training, or the reality of injuries. “In real life, we always deal with injuries. The BAEPLEX philosophy is ‘come to class anyway.’ You keep training and learn the difference between feeling sore and pushing too hard,” she said.
One of the remarkable parts of BAEPLEX for McLain, who serves as the Office Jedi, is the community that BAEPLEX is and continues to be.
“There are many layers – the connection instructors have with members, the members’ connections to each other and how we are part of a family here. It’s not just on site either – they actually care outside of Baeplex, too,” she said.
McLain is now a black belt, along with her son and husband. She finds inspiration in the exercise and mental challenges with her family, as well as her BAEPLEX friends.
“I love learning new things, and Leadership Team continues to challenge me to grow even more,” she said.
Her perception of martial arts has changed significantly since she became acquainted with BAEPLEX. “I used to think of martial arts as fighting. Now, we see violence as the last resort. I think the world sees ‘martial arts the TV version’ of who will hit harder or faster – but we are about the community,” McLain said.
Part of that commitment is reaching out to the greater Williamsburg community, and one of the programs she is proud of is the scholarships awarded every year to Williamsburg-James City County students.
“The instructors have so many life lessons to share, about stick-to-it-ive-ness and focus and discipline. They are willing to give everyone a chance and they always find ways to help – I’m proud to be part of the team,” McLain said.
- Mother of 2 Children
- BA in Government Administration with a concentration in legal studies
- Christopher Newport University Graduate, Summa Cum Laude
- Office Jedi
- Advanced Red Belt in Taekwondo