Ever feel like you have jet lag, when you only traveled 25 miles?
That's how we all feel tonight.
N & C competed in "the battle of the orient", a mixed martial arts tournament. The 8 hours were grueling for them, and us.
It was stressful from the moment I woke up. When we arrived (30 minutes later than planned), the kids decided at the very last second to participate in the board break portion (unrehearsed - and it didn't go particularly well). So the stress began before we even walked into the gym.
Board breaks and weapons (which they didn't do), were followed by lunch break and a CRUSHINGLY BORING awards ceremony for the sponsors' leadership, then a cool show which took more than four hours. By the time our main events started - forms and sparring - it was after 2pm and the kids were already worn out.
N did about 1000 times better than we expected.
His forms looked relatively polished and strong - with some last minute embellishments to up an easy routine. Unfortunately he didn't place - a parent from another school said that the thought the judges were favoring their own school's kids (our tkd school were guests) - although when I write it, it sounds like sour grapes. He did his best, but it wasn't quite enough for the coveted trophy. His competitors were more advanced and stylized.
Sparring went a bit better for N. Although he lost all three rounds that he fought, he got a 3rd place trophy but came in 4th (the judges made a mistake and then had to retest their group!). N worked hard, even bouncing back after a kick to the face (the opponent got a warning). In the end he was thrilled to get his first trophy.
As usual C had a better day. She came in 3rd out of 12 girls in forms, earning a trophy. Sparring was harder - she beat the first girl 2-0, but then got a real whipping by a 13 year old (C is 10) - with lots of spin kicks to the head and chest - and lost 0-2. It was enough for a giant 2nd place trophy, and lots of bruises.
N ended the day by saying he didn't want to quit TKD, and compete again at other tournaments.
The next opportunity is in 2 weeks at Rutgers. That is the one that I thought was "long and poorly organized" last year compared to this one! I am glad N wants to try again! His modus operendi has been to quit quickly after defeat.
The last thing I feel like when I finally get home from a long flight is to board another plane. That's how I feel about a 2nd competition in 2 weeks: will we really be up to another go? When I just asked N if he wanted to do it again, he gave me a thumbs up. Kids bounce back faster than parents! I am just grateful that tomorrow's plan is for a lazy Sunday!