A New Kind of Tournament


.The churning feeling in my stomach, the pounding of blood in my ears, and the rush of adrenaline as I step in the ring to win.

.The churning feeling in my stomach, the pounding of blood in my ears, and the rush of adrenaline as I step in the ring to win. I started Taekwondo at the Colorado Taekwondo institute five years ago.


I have been to about 20 tournaments through those five years. The one that sticks most in my mind is my very first tournament when I was a yellow belt. I was about eight. I didn't know very much about taekwondo or the concept of tournaments. My only experience was from having watched the Karate Kid movies. The one difference where that in my Taekwondo when we sparred we only went to score points rather than draw blood. In our tournament we also did poomse or a patterned movement. I was shaking so bad when I was first called to step-up and into the ring. I stuttered over my words as I introduced myself. I step back and trip over the hems of my pants, as I stumble into place. I barrow slowly, catching my breath and testing myself. I execute my first move beautifully. I continue like this through the rest of the poomse. I barrow back and wait impatiently for my scores. I don't understand the scores so I retreat back to my seat.


Patience has never been easy for me, but I silently watch the other competitors. I find flaws in each one's. I had some hope. Finally the judges come to a conclusion. They bring the scores to the announcer and collect the trophies. The loud speaker comes on. "First place goes to Rachel Rockenfeller, second goes to Emma Hartmann, third goes to Damian Rupp, fourth to Maggie Wingate, and fifth to Brendan Dodson."I feel like a crying like a baby. I was a yellow belt. To get second place was huge. I rush forward to seize my trophy and enthusiastically shake the black belts had and return to my spot.


After that everybody congratulated me. I rushed up into the stands to find my mom. I sat for a while and observe the other computations. Everybody as doing pretty good. The younger kids where so funny with their little moves and their parent behind them cheering. Some would just break down in the ring and stand there. There where various different family members strewn about the crowd. Grandparents, siblings and parents all lodged in the stands. Most siblings had IPods or Nintendo's. The grandparents had knitting or a newspaper. Parents where all very busy handing lunches to the right people. I now am a purple belt, but tournaments are still the same. The feeling in the ring. The parents in the stand and the little screaming kids. I will soon be a black belt and experience in a whole new way.