Girls are known for their cute smiles, their tender hearts and their bubbly personalities. Boys are known for their rough and tumble energy, rocks in their pockets, and roll around in the mud kind of spirit.
The old saying “you fight like a girl” is less than a compliment in most situations, but I can proudly say that I wish I could fight like a girl, specifically, my daughter and her friend Sarah, because they are beyond amazing. They are champions in their field of sport, Taekwondo, and they are at the Red Executive Belt level at the age of 11 years old. In case you don’t know about the sport of Taekwondo a Red Executive Belt means you are working on your Black Executive Belt and are within six months of competing for your Black Belt. Let that one sink in for just a minute. How many 11-year-old little girls do you know that are almost Black Belts? Hmmm. Not many.
Saturday I watched Maggie and Sarah do some serious competing at their school’s annual Poomse Competition. These girls were impressive. They were strong, they were tough and they were focused on their goals. Sarah impressively won first place for her age group in sparring. Sparring is not for wimps. These kids get geared up in protective pads, they respect their competitors but they want to win. They get into the sparring ring and start throwing punches and launching focused kicks. Competitors earn points based on where they land the punches. It sounds a but nasty but actually it is a disciplined and focused sport and it teaches these kids a ton about setting a challenging goal and then working long and hard hours to accomplish their goals. Maggie won first place in her forms with a near perfect performance. It was fun to watch these two young ladies s they competed with spirit but with respect and compassion for their opponents.
My bucketlist is about getting out of my comfort zone and growing as a person. My bucketlist is also about helping and encouraging my children making their goals and dreams come true. I am honored to be watching my youngest daughter as she challenges herself in a way that leaves me speechless. Almost.
When Maggie discovered Taekwondo almost 4 years ago she discovered a natural talent and she started growing up. At the tender age of 7 ½ years old she found something that she wanted to work for and she found discipline and the courage to go for it. She set a goal to earn her Black Belt before she became a teenager. My husband and I were impressed and we decided to support her in any way we could. For years now we have been making sure she got to class, practiced her forms, washed her uniform and managed to keep the tuition paid so she could follow her dream. We viewed it as an investment in her future and an investment in her character.
Master Han Lee teaches goal setting, hard work, focus and discipline. He expects a ton from his students. In fact, what impresses me the most about Master Han Lee is that he treats even his youngest students like people not young children. He tells them that he expects them to be on time, be prepared, be focused and be respectful. It is impressive when he gets a room of four and five year olds to stand still and “focus their mind and focus their body” and they do it. I guess the big lesson for all the adults in the room watching is that if you don’t set the expectation of excellence for your children they certainly will not surprise you. When you respect them as people, not just little kids you talk down to, it is impressive what they can and will do in return.
For the past four years I have been watching my daughter grow before my eyes. Saturday I watched her compete like a talented young athlete. I watched her and I was impressed. From now on, I think everyone should want to “fight like a girl” because Sarah and Maggie are girls and they are impressive.
So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”