I once believed that wet weather was a bad omen. I can’t remember the exact source of that belief, though it was probably an older and allegedly wiser member of my superstitious family from a small country town. I’m glad that’s one of the things that fell by the wayside as I aged. Had it not, I’d be climbing the walls right now listening to the unmistakable sound of cars flying down wet roads and water falling from a darkened sky. Instead, I’m just anxious to get out the door, as I normally am on a Saturday morning. But this is not a normal Saturday.
The Chinese New Year demonstration is this evening. Though I chose not to be in it, to keep from adding extra stress on my joints for something that’s literally just for show, I want everything to go off without a hitch for my kung fu family. There are a lot of moving parts in this one – far more than in years past, and it seems to mean a great deal to Sifu to impress the local Chinese community. The school this morning is bound to be filled with nervous energy.
As physically large, complicated and important to our leader as it may be, it’s all secondary to the main event of the day. Our contender, the Boy Wonder, competes for the national team today. Last he told me, there was a bruise on his heel causing him trouble.
One of the most impressive moves in the form he performs today requires that he come out of a jump and land into a split. I haven’t seen the split happen correctly since the bruise appeared two weeks ago. I can’t imagine he’ll make the team if he can’t execute that move.
It’s truly a game of inches – a fact that’s true in all sports, of course. The difference between success and mediocrity can be just a centimeter or two one direction or the other.
May any and all gods he needs be with him today. May the adrenaline of performing make that semi-healed bruise unnoticeable as he flies and lands. If there can only be one flawless performance of the two that matter today, let it be the Boy Wonder’s. His is for so much more than show.