Everything created has an audience. That’s what our English teacher told us one day. I thought that was obvious. Of course everything is created to show someone your hard work, I thought. He also said that things can be created or done for yourself. You can be your own audience. Mr.T made the whole class go outside and told us to identify the audience of the bell week posters. This made me think about the Tae Kwon Do tournament (California Open) which I competed in last week.
To start off, I must quickly explain the basic idea of tae kwon do, for those of you who has no clue what this non-American word is. Tae kwon do is a Korean martial art and an Olympic sport consisting of mainly kicking. The object of the sport is to get more points than your opponent within three rounds of three minutes each with a one minute break between each round (rules can vary depending on the scale of the competition).
Every player must wear protectors: mouthpiece, forearm protector, shin protector, foot gear, chest gear, and a head gear. You might get a better understanding if you see the picture above with my gears on. A kick to the chest gear is one point, and if it is a turning kick, the player receives two points. A kick to the head is three points.
This is a video of the first round last Saturday. I won the first match 13-7, but I lost in the second round. I’m the red in the video.
I have played this sport for six years and I am absolutely obsessed with it. About two years ago, I started teaching students as well, which gives me opportunities to learn many things you can’t learn in school. Some of the skills I learned are leadership, social skills (conversing with parents, my master, other instructors, etc.), and… answering the phone! Teaching students allows me to be in the perspective of a teacher, which is really interesting when you’re both a student and a teacher.
You might be wondering why I brought up my tae kwon do tournament.
Well, I got second place. And it’s not the first time it happened. The moment the referee announced second place, it stirred all kinds of emotions inside of me. I was proud of myself for not being the worst one. I was frustrated at myself for not getting first. I thought, “I worked harder than anyone else. I practiced more than anyone else. What was I doing wrong?” I couldn’t stop my tears rolling down my cheeks mixed with sweat throughout the whole car ride home.
It might not seem like a big deal. I got second, so what? If you had spent six days a week for six years on tae kwon do, it means a lot. When I calmed down a little after a few days, I thought about what Mr. Theriault told us in class one day.
“Everything created has an audience.”
He also said that you can be your own audience. This connected to tae kwon do. I train almost everyday, but who is my audience? Why am I doing this and who am I doing this for? I’m doing this for myself. The audience is me, always disappointed of my creation, but wanting a perfection that can never be achieved.