The Karate Kid.

“Her right hook.  You think she sprained her wrist doing her nails?”

Ah, the Karate Kid.  How I love this movie.  It came out when I was ten years old, and I made my mom take me to see it thirteen times when it was first in the theaters.  Mom was patient with me about it.  By about the fifth time, she bought two tickets only so that she could walk me into the theater and get me settled. Then she would leave and turn back up as it was ending. 

I loved watching this movie.  It was fantastic every single time.

More than twenty five years later, it’s still fantastic.  Ralph Macchio still strikes me as perhaps the most handsome man on the planet.  Mr. Miyagi still makes me want to chase my dreams.  Daniel LaRusso still makes me believe that I can practice my way to anything I want.  And the movie as a whole still gives me hope.

“You’re the best around.  Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.”

I think this story especially spoke to me because Daniel didn’t want to compete.  He wasn’t trying to be a winner.  One thing after another pushed him into this situation of fighting for a trophy and his pride.  But he didn’t choose it.  He just wanted to live his life.

I’ve never been a competitive person.  I’ve competed.  I’ve felt the need to compete.  But my natural state is not one that thrives on competition.  When put in situations where there has to be a winner and a loser, I want to win.  But I’ve never been one to choose those situations.  I much prefer to challenge myself in community.  I much prefer to progress with people by my side.  My heart has never been in competition.  It’s just not who I am.

“Daniel LaRusso’s gonna fight?”

Sure, Daniel wanted to win.  But more than that, he wanted confidence in himself.  I think that’s why I loved the movie so much.  It was about confidence.  As a kid, I craved confidence. 

“You’re alright, LaRusso. You’re alright.”

As an adult, I still do.