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).