Cleveland’s 3-year journey finally complete

August 7th, 2010
ODESSA – Cheryl Cleveland kicked through the red tape like she kicks through boards. Aggressive yet persistent until she has accomplished her goal.

“I never thought it was going to happen,” Cleveland said, cracking a wide smile.

Cleveland smiles often nowadays, and though she proudly displays her awards for competitive board breaking, it is looking around her Community Fun & Fitness Center in Odessa that makes her so happy.

“I just love being here,” Cleveland, 31, said of the 7,000-square-foot complex she opened in May. “I love the people and my instructors, and now that it’s finally here, it’s like (the center) has always been here. People always compliment me on the place, just tell me how great it is.

“That always makes me smile, too.”

Cleveland recently competed in the U.S. Open karate tournament in Orlando for the second consecutive year. In 2009, Cleveland set a record by breaking five boards with a side kick, and she returned in July to break her personal record and tie the new record with six boards.

Although that was a great accomplishment, it was Cleveland’s three-year journey to open the center that earns her the most praise. That’s because the journey turned into a marathon she never thought she would complete.

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