The Boy Strikes Black

IMG_2848Every single one of us, at some point in our lives, has probably met a kid who’s so athletically skilled, motivated and talented that s/he vows to compete at the Olympics. Sure, a bronze or silver would be nice.. but what they’re really after is the GOLD.

But I know a boy who, gifted with all those athletic abilities, has had his eye on a prize of another color altogether…

Well, this past weekend, at only 12 years old (just two weeks shy of turning 13); after years of paying his dues – in yellow, orange, blue and brown; and after racIMG_2858king up a truckload of trophies (some towering above his height), G struck black.

As in Black Belt.* No small feat – for an adult, let alone a kid.

Excitement reigned of course; emails and phone calls flew across the globe over phone and wifi lines. Relatives from coast to coast (and overseas) were apprised of the wait.. and final results. I called the evening before (he was out at practice) and waited, with bated breath, for THE phone call.

IMG_2796To be truthful, it was no surprise. And not only because he’s been a fan of “The Karate Kid” ever since he first watched it.

When you are blessed to watch a boy grow up with such fierce determination, singular focus, dogged intent, unrelenting commitment to practice and self-improvement; when you see such a boy take inspiration from his father (struck black too); when he’s been asked to assist in teaching the younger kids; and when you know that at such a prime age – for school, friends, soccer and band practice too – a boy will nevertheless push himself to the absolute limit to achieve his dream, well, then you simply cannot be surprised. IMG_4461

There was never a doubt in mind that he was going to score the black.

Strike & score he did. Way to go GG, you’re such an inspiration.

In this case, black IS your gold.

* (Full disclosure: He passed with what’s called a ‘provisional’, meaning that the designation is conditional on perfecting one or more jujitsu (?) forms. Have no doubt: it will happen this summer!)