April 07, 2014

A broken board

Zion is smaller than everybody in his Tae Kwon Do class.

(when you're born 4 lbs at full term, you're never going to be a big dude)

And when yellow belt testing day came, he was only the second boy to go. A proctor "master" sat behind an official table. Zion took him two boards of wood. The master inspected the wood and nodded gruffly, handing them back to Zion. Zion took the boards to his instructor, Moose, who held the first board out at arms length.

Zion, with his plum-sized fist, was to punch the board hard enough for it to break.

Oh my sweet peanut!

Thankfully I was home sick with sinusitis. G0D knew I couldn't watch.

But I saw the video. How it was that Daniel stayed silent through the whole thing I'll never know. How he was able to keep his hand steady on the recorder is a mystery to me. I would have found a white towel and thrown it in. I would have run in to scoop up my tiny son and whisk him off somewhere safe.

But that is not what Zion needed.

He needed to fight the good fight.

And I needed to watch it happen later, on video, holding my breath on the edge of my seat while Zion punched that board over and over again. Time and time again his fist darted out from the hip in perfect form. Time and time again the board held fast. Tears glistened in his determined eyes. His knuckles (I would find out later) were loosing their skin. Moose just kept saying, "NO. AGAIN." Zion just kept punching. Daniel didn't move.

I almost stopped watching the video.

Then Zion's arms fell to his sides. He lowered his head and cried.

Moose put down the board and leaned in close to Zion, saying something I couldn't hear. Zion nodded, stepped back into form, lifted his fists, and punched one last time.

SPLIT went the board.

The crowd cheered. Zion looked like he didn't believe it was real. I jumped from my desk chair with glee. And pride. Because strength is not the size of your fists (obviously), nor the ease with which you bust the board. Strength is punching until your knuckles bleed, and then punching again.

I've said it before and it's true, my kids are my heroes.

p.s. Gene and Brave broke their boards, too. Bravo to all three!