By Zerline Hughes
So Saturday, despite the unexpected 554 miles I put on the Chevy, the three hours of rest and the anxiety wondering if dad was gonna survive the first leg of his 500 mile trek from the East to the South, it all worked out — and it usually does. (Read yesterday’s blog to get up to speed)
The boy had three karate competitions yesterday. He received the standard, usual participation medal for his sai performance. Then, he received a third-place medal – his very first placement medal – for one of his pasai dai kata competitions. But dad still wasn’t there — and there was only one event left: the sparring/fighting.
My boy is really a nice guy. When you meet him, you see that he’s a lover, not a fighter, as they say. So his sparring/fighting, I’ve always thought, could use a little anger to push him to winning more. And it’s somewhat ironic: the reason my mother (from 3,000 miles away) and I made the decision to enroll him in karate around first grade (six years ago) was because he was turning into an angry child. He was known to turn a table over in class, jockey for position at the front of the line with some real force, and he even, ahem, “stabbed” a girl in her thigh with a pencil because she was pushing his buttons. I know, those of you who know him are saying, not JD!?!
According to a 2011 Tel Aviv study, boys enrolled in sports experience less aggression, learn how to diffuse anger and improves behavioral well-being. Of course, there are also studies that say certain sports can lead to more aggression, and domestic abuse, and that’s why I’m happy Jobe has identified with karate. One American Fitness Professional and Associates blog post points to the fact that martial arts training is, in fact, based on non-violence and well-rounded, moral teachings. I can attest that they are right!
OK, back to the happy ending … So dad gets there in time to see the boy win second place in his sparring. I make my exit at this point, so as not to get in the way, and so the “dadding” can take place. Lemme just say that it hurt my heart just a bit to have missed seeing the boy “finish” his opponent (that’s our inside “Karate Kid” joke). It does my heart good, though, to know that his dad was able to celebrate the moment with him.
The boy told me the story via phone while I was driving back to D.C. and I was reeling and clapping while his voice sounded his usual calm with a a small lilt of pride. “I did well,” he told me.
So the extra mileage, sleep deprivation, anxiety AND the speeding ticket I received in Virginia while racing back home (UGH!!!) were all worth it.
Oh, and I returned to a home-grilled meal from the boyfriend and took a looooong nap. Energy has been restored.
I’m ready for the next adventure and effort to keep these kids outta’ prison. Nope … not these two!