Friday, April 18, 2008


My nephew and I are taking taekwondo--half a world away from each other. Aidan is four years old, and he has just been promoted to a yellow belt.

I have been demoted to a purple one.

I got my black belt in Korea several years ago. Each morning, I woke up at 5:45 to attend class--a fact that still amazes me. My classmates were 15 middle school boys and 1 very angry middle school girl. They were all superior athletes and when I had to preform my pumsays, they would stand out of the teacher's eye range and demonstrate the steps I was getting wrong. I found the whole situation amusing, particularly my lack of talent--I think that's why I persevered through those dark winter mornings.

When I tell people I am no good at taekwondo, they usually think I'm being modest. I should be so lucky. I just joined a taekwondo institute in Riverside. The first day of class, I wore a track suit and practiced with the white belts. Afterwards, the instructor begged me not to wear my black belt to class and discourage the other students. Instead, he gave me a purple belt--and hinted that he was being overly generous.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, I'll be taking classes with adults, but on Wednesdays, I will be joining the teen class. That should be interesting (or terrifying).


Shana said...

for those of us who dropped out before white belt testing, what is the order again? Sounds fun! Your nephew is the cutest!

K said...

Your nep[hew looks fierce. As, I'm sure, you do. Purple scares Catholics.

sonja said...

I've never heard of a purple belt. You didn't get that color in Korea, did you?

Writing Sisu said...

Yes, it's very weird. They also have an orange belt. And get this, you have to do 4 one handed push ups to progress from the imaginary purple belt to the blue belt.

Well, that's not going to happen.

mandy said...

Aw, Aidan! So grown up!
I hope you don't get beaten up by teens.