Grooming The Next Karate Kid
Earlier this week I announced the beginning of my basketball coaching career. Me leading a bunch of 5-7 year old boys and girls. It's a recipe for disaster. We did have our second practice last night and much like the first, it wasn't so bad. In fact it was pretty good. So who knows.
The one thing about disasters is they are all relative. I mean, I should be grateful. I was asked to coach basketball. I very easily could have been recruited to be Ian's martial arts instructor. Don't laugh. If someone out there thinks it's a good idea for me to coach a 1st grade basketball team, it's not unthinkable that someone things I'm the man to build Ian into the next Karate Kid.
The Ian and martial arts idea is Katie's. All of it. I personally couldn't picture Ian running around in a white costume - or, as he and Katie have made clear to me - uniform, whipping his arms through the air like runaway fan blades, all the while mimicking the grunts and groans he's picked up from various iPad fighting apps (bloodless, deathless and free of course), and actually have someone think that was a good idea.
Then Katie told me a martial arts story about something that happened in our hallway shortly after he started taking the class. Right about now you're waiting for me to tell you about a high leg kick through the wall leaving nothing but a gaping hole and some dangling plaster. But that's not the story. According to Katie, she corrected Ian about something and then asked him if he understood. He shockingly replied, "yes ma'am." I asked Katie if it was her assertion that this miracle had taken place because of martial arts and not Jesus. She confidently responded that's what martial arts is all about. Discipline. Respect.
(Elliott, my son, the bad news is I've just cut you from my basketball team. The good news is you're now in Ian's martial arts class.)
Last night I asked Ian to demonstrate one of the moves he's been working on. He gave me a serious look, silently asking me If I knew the dangers associated with what I was asking. I nearly laughed. Hard. But I stopped myself. Ian's serious moments are infrequent; I didn't want to do anything to discourage this one. With great focus, he lined himself up sideways in front of me. He slowly leaned and shifted all of his weight to the foot furthest away from me, then with a burst, shot the leg closest to me nearly straight out and racing toward me. Fortunately his leg isn't much longer than a McDonald's drink straw or serious damage might have occurred. When Ian finished lowering his leg, he gave me a cocky look like I should be grateful it didn't.
So, yes, I'm suddenly ver grateful for my hoops assignment, I very easily could have been put in charge of grooming the next Karate Kid.
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