Nyla

Canada

15
She/her

Message to Readers

Ahhh I have so many people to respond to- I promise I will get back to all of you very soon!! I love talking to all of you but between restructuring my book and school, I haven’t had time yet. Anyway, hope you enjoy this long brain blurb and have an absolutely amazing day :))

Taekwondo

April 27, 2021

PROMPT: April Grab Bag

18
I think I was the strongest when I was 12.

See, I live in Canada and get lots of that fluffy, pure, free toy around wintertime: snow. At my elementary school, we had both a tarmac play area as well as a big soccer field and in the winter, we would have plows come and clean the tarmac. That snow would pile up at the edge of the field and there all the children would kick at the snow for no reason other than machismo. One day I spent the recess with a girl I normally didn't and we needed someone to break this big ice chunk. She kicked it down hard, nobody, not even a boy could do it, but she did. I remember my little weasel self asking her how she was so strong and she told me she did taekwondo. 

I was a little feminist, the girl who raised her hand to help the teacher carry chairs when they asked for two strong boys, and when I went home that day I told my parents I wanted to do taekwondo. When I was young my parents tried to find any sporty interest in me and although being put in all types of camps, I preferred academics. Although I did learn swimming (the essential life skill) and ice-skating (the essential Canadian skill). But now, here I was, a tiny little studious girl begging her parents to put her in the rough world of martial arts.

So I started taekwondo just before my eighth birthday and I continued for four years until I stood in front of at least a hundred, in a large dojo in a city a few hours from mine, only sipping down red Gatorade the whole test because I knew I would throw up with anything more solid. And hours later I walked in front of everyone with my head held high, shaking firm hands with my sweaty own, taking a bouquet of flowers, and a fancy certificate of an unusual length that had my name in a cursive font that made the n's look like a's and now my family jokes that my sister is actually the one who earned the certificate, but I was the one who didn't quit.

With trembling hands, I attempted to fasten my black belt, and upon not being able to properly, I jelly-legged, walked over to my friend so we could help put on each others' new belts because they were so stiff. I smelt the belt. I liked the smell. It smelt like hard work, tears, and determination. I remember staring at the picture we all took together afterward and when I ran to my parents to look at it, I didn’t see a weasel anymore, I saw a tiger.

I look back at the place I so often hated and came to love more than my own home, and I hate the last day I had there because I didn't even know it would be the last. I remember the faces I would never see again and the same sweat that would never glisten on my brow. No more playing tug of war with our belts over the change room doors, laughing while our insides hurt until we were caught. My bangs would never again fall from their bright butterfly clips when I was 9 and later when my hair grew out, my hair tie would never once again be strewn on those rubber blue and red mats that bore their imprints on my bare feet. But at least now I can cut my hair at that odd length where it can't fit into a ponytail and is long enough to swing in my eyes.

I had to leave, I couldn't stay, because if I did, I would have been bored. There was nothing for me to do while I waited a year for my next belt in my little suburb.

It was then I realized the harsh truth: when you don't live in a big city, and your dreams move too fast, sometimes you have to leave your little town behind.

I think I was the strongest when I was 12 and I decided to leave the world that nobody except for the people in that small, salty building understood or will ever understand. I think I was the strongest when I was 12 and I started a new life without the people who most influenced my first one.
Thank you to Odyssey for the amazing prompt: Write about the moment when you first discovered a passion. I kind of ran with this and made it into more of a story *awkward laugh*. I swear this is so long and there's still tons more I could have added.

This was honestly pretty emotional to write because it's all true. I loved taekwondo with my whole heart and soul and leaving it was really upsetting but, once I got my black belt, there just wasn't much for me to improve on where I lived. Growing up in a tiny suburb might be the dream but, sometimes, it's really restricting.

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  • April 27, 2021 - 9:28pm (Now Viewing)

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17 Comments
  • Khadeejah bint Malik

    Wow!! I'm happy that you got black belt. And the way you described your passion here is well written, I love it!
    Since I was about 9 or 10 (I can't remember lol) my parents wanted me to learn martial arts. I took a few lessons but didn't continue, even though I really wanted to. I was mainly impressed of moves like that of Jackie Chan but ofcourse I don't want to be like him XD. I just wanted to learn it as a skill. But anyways...
    I hope you're doing well. We're waiting for your return (insert crying emoji)
    Stay safe


    about 1 month ago
  • _Delphiruns2theocean_

    Re: Aw ty! I'd appreciate that a lot :) And that's so true!
    Ah you def have a point there (sadly tho) and thx! I'm glad ppl appreciate them :) Yeah on WtW there's not rlly a lot of them so I like making some in case there's other ppl like me jumping at the possibility of a feminist piece :P Yeah so true.
    Ah at least you did something tho! Honestly at this point it's in the hands of WtW and whether they're okay with having questionable users on here...
    Ty! I like to think I am lol. And yes I LOVE soccer, and that's an understatement :D Yeah that's what's frustrating I started at 2 years old and you rlly can't jump in in your teen years or it's rlly hard to :/ I play water polo tho too, I started it last year, and it's so aggressive which for me is a bonus to the fun! Most ppl don't start til middle school in that :)
    It is frustrating...especially the mass comments...
    Omg why is that me tho?! With the feminist thing XD My guy friends have learned to nod along with my rages XD One guy in my cohort was like are you PMSing and I wanted to hit him so bad :/
    Ahh math. I'm in a double compacted course, which means I'm already doing high school math in 7th grade :) Same! My 'A "real" Girl" series I am turning into one :) I get the forced smile tho...def frustrating and fun at the same time :D
    Np! I am the same way (tonight I'm just full on WtW :)
    I'm doing alright, my best friend's bday party is tmrw sooo there's that :) I broke my toe tho so I have tape and stuff on it, don't know how long I'll be out of everything for which sucks :/ (Photo shoots with bad outfits with friends results in toe injuries :P)
    Ty! That means a lot :) I'm glad you enjoy them <3


    5 months ago
  • _Delphiruns2theocean_

    And also re: ty and no idc it's fine! They're my favs :) And thx for the follow too!


    5 months ago
  • _Delphiruns2theocean_

    Re: Ty! And oh you are lucky :) That seems a bit weird, but I'm glad it didn't escalate :) And omg ty! You are so sweet and I appreciate you recognizing that, some ppl on here have told me I have written "too many" feminist pieces and I should switch it up so :P Wow that's great!
    Sadly I'm not surprised that happened tho, a lot of ppl are like "ra ra feminism!" and don't actually be a feminist when it counts :D Yes ik, he tends to copy and paste comments (which I see he did to u, I just call him out on it :P) and I appreciate you caring abt me :) Yeah he did that to my WtW twin too and it's really scary! WtW has put him on restriction, per my and others emails, and hopefully it gets farther than that...
    Oh I don't think that's poor choice of words! I mean, I'm no homophobe ofc, but I do think that is true. I mean gay people do get bullied and it sucks but like you can prevent that, and with being a girl it's way more obvi! I completely agree! Yeah I just had one of my Top 3 worst and I was crying a lot earlier :/ If you care to know I will say the whole story...*dramatics tho lol*
    ty for ur support tho! It did and does :/ Like my guy friends totally understand the limits when it comes to feminism stuff cause they don't exactly know and Jacob was kinda acting like he knew which annoyed me a great amount :/ and I completely agree! Gosh your points are so like mine, so true!
    How are you tho?


    5 months ago
  • nolongeractive

    Wow, this is such a gorgeous piece and I am obsessed with the way you organized it and I love the simplicity and the deep meaning, and the word choice really drew me in! Thank you for sharing this piece, I cannot wait to see what else you write because your talent is remarkable. This is piece is so remarkable! I love the theme and word choice, you are so talented.


    5 months ago
  • Zirong

    Gosh this made me really emotional. I love the story anyway -- it's so well-crafted and the line "I didn’t see a weasel anymore, I saw a tiger" is really powerful!

    re: ooo this is gonna be long. I saw your message to readers, and I just wanna say pls take your time! All of your comments are so sweet and I really love reading long comments from you <3 Also, I tried the link to the plot outline but it seems that the piece is no longer there. Just wondering what happened and whether it will appear again coz I'm really curious!(and the idea of expanding it into a long piece/book is SOOO GREAT! Can't wait to read it!!!!!)

    Oh yea and thank you so so much for your kind comment on my piece Forever is a Lie awww! It's one of the few pieces I really take pride in(haha just somehow find it hard to be proud of my own writings aw) and I am more than happy that you like it!

    And thank you for your comments on She and My Favourite Artist too awwwwwwww! Your comments are always so detailed, and having someone who reads my pieces so carefully is really heart-warming aww *a million hugs* Also, "a hopeless romantic" seems to be a good description for me as well *wink* YAY I love Pride and Prejudice OMG!!! It's actually one of the first few English books I read and it left a really deep impression on me. The movie adaptation is SUPERB as well!!!!! *happily screaming* And yea I have to say that Zorikto's works are indeed a bit creepy sometimes haha XD They are super fine in some series but get darker in others perhaps due to a change in his emotions. Ooh so you like Mantra(the one depicting a little boy and an archer)! That's my favourite one too! *happily screaming again* I really love most of his paintings but I just can't get that specific one out of my head!!! One thing I love about it is that the position of the arrow is also the position of the little boy's heart (I bet you can already sense symbolism coming hehe) Have to say that symbolism itself is just amazing awww! Really looking forward to reading the plot outline of an expanded The Teapot and racking my brain looking for symbols XD

    yes yes you should definitely go to art galleries/museums coz they are just GREAT -- I visit at least one every month before the pandemic and they were just an indispensable part of my life *excited smile* Now it's my last year in high school and my schedule is super insane so I don't get to visit them as often. But I'll surely make up for that during my gap year!!! HOORAY!!!

    ooo now comes to your long long reply to my comments. I've never read Teju Cole's writings before -- will definitely search up some while listening to his speeches XD Yea Harvard is insanely hard but dreaming about being one of his students in Harvard is actually quite motivating haha! And it's amazing that you only started writing from Feb this year but could already write so well(ngl based on your writings I'd suppose you've been writing for years)! I guess reading really helps with writing and you must be an avid and super good reader :D

    Oooh and The Teapot! Ahhh when reading it I felt there must be something behind the last line but couldn't figure out what it exactly was! Omg it makes so much sense that the mechanical stirring hints that the unlawfulness will continue like a machine -- a superb use of symbolism there Nyla!

    awww I think that's it for now but I'm gonna read your other new pieces right after posting this :D Hope you are doing perfectly well!!! And I really look forward to your reply(take your time!) <333


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Btw I finished reviewing your story!


    5 months ago
  • ScarlettLucian

    I love the honesty with which you wrote this. As a fellow Canadian-snowy-winterer I could vividly relate to the first scene with the ice chunk. Thanks for sharing your story!


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Re: Oh that's fine UwU I'd love to! And you should come to Australia in the Summer (not that it'd matter that much lol) Ohhh yeah that's right, you do! Lol I have a TERRIBLE memory. Seriously, it's friggin terrible. rip.
    Hehe lol thanks :D NP, and tysm!
    Aw it's no problem! I'm really enjoying reviewing, but I'm not done just yet. I'll try to finish it maybe tomorrow? Ohhhhhh ok that's so clever, but literally went straight over my head haha :P No you should keep that in, that's really clever! Hope you do too!

    Re: Ikkrrrrrr?? I mean, it's like a great suburb and I love it, but it's like...why would he come here? NO ONE COMES HERE! It's still like an hour away from the city, so yeahhh that was probably my only chance in life *sob* unless I'm in a movie with him which is even LESS likely :'( And yeahhhh but he didn't even realiseeeeeee. True lol


    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Wow. I can really feel the passion emanating from this piece. It's so nostalgic. And the way you changed from seeing yourself as a "weasel" to a "tiger"--I loved that. And I loved the way the beginning was actually about the end, and how by "strong" you didn't just mean physically strong. This piece was so well-thought out, wonderful job!
    re: O my gosh your comment made me laugh so much. It is totally my pleasure! I actually enjoy editing (as long as it's not my piece lol)
    That sounds great, take your time! I can't wait to read more :D


    5 months ago
  • Swing_Lynn

    this legitimately reads like it was taken out of a memoir/biography. I really, really enjoyed reading it and Taekwondo is a such an interesting passion.

    If you would like a review let me know.


    5 months ago
  • Rachaelgrace

    This is so beautifully written. I love how the reader can feel the passion :) Do you do any other sports now?


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Oh if you don't mind, I'll make suggestions. Just a warning, I'm probably gonna do a bunch :) Might take me a couple days, but I'm starting now UwU


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Wait, do you want me to make suggestions or something?


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Re: I've got it thanks! Wait did you say we could like make changes or something?


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Also that's so cool you had a black belt!
    My cousin has one in Jujutsu and she is SO GUD.


    5 months ago
  • Writing4Life

    Re: Totally! I've only skated on one once, but it really was magical! Unfortunately it would melt within an hour in Australia lop :P Haha lol ^^
    Re: Urgh okkkkkk :P When is ur b'day btw? (you don't have to say if you don't want tho) Mine's the 20th of July. And thanks! Oh I'd love that, if that's ok!
    Lollllll it's fine :) Thanks! Eeee it's tomorrow, I'm super excited :D Accchhhh you're right, I doooooo! NOOOOO ITS STILL IN MY ROOOOOOOMMMMM!
    Nuuuuuu you're not dumb D:< You're vewy smart UwU
    Ohh ok lol
    Have a nice day!


    5 months ago