Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guest Post: Sweet Determination

The following is a letter Hannah Diller wrote to her daughter, Eliza, after Eliza rocked a blue belt rank exam in Taekwondo. I absolutely loved it, and so, with permission, I'm sharing it.

THIS is the power of martial arts, folks!

Dear Eliza:

You know how sometimes you or one of your siblings confront something that makes you quail—a long division problem, or a dictation sentence with words you don’t know how to spell yet, or maybe something even tougher? Like breaking a wooden board with your foot in front of other people when it really counts? And I, your goofy mother, put on my best Brahmin accent—which, granted, darling, isn’t terribly good—and I say to you ...

“We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon in this deCADE and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are HAWD.”

And you sort of roll your eyes and think, Oh, gosh, my mom is going all President Kennedy on me again.

I wonder if you remembered that when the tears quivered in your eyes and the butterflies raged in your stomach and there was no backing down from the hard thing, the moment you had been dreading since before your belt test began.

I expect you to stand up to challenges, even though (because?) you tend to be meek, quiet, and gentle in publicbecause I want you to know the strength that is already in you.

And I repeat that quote to you because I need to hear it myself. Because I fear the hard things and long to take the comfortable, self-protecting way out. But it’s the resistance to that way that builds the muscles we shy girls need.


Keep on kicking, beautiful girl. All the way to the moon!


  1. Good Job Eliza! You rocked that purple belt!


  2. Totally!! I wasn't there but good job! Ur awesome