Olivia here again with more ‘so you think you can …’
This week I spoke to fourteen-year-old Lucy who is originally from Fujian and now living in Virginia. Lucy is an expert in Wushu (a sport I’d never heard of but sounds really cool) and which turns out to be a Chinese martial art.
When I first spoke to Lucy she sent me a list of all her competition wins and achievements. The list was eight pages long and included being on the Dragon team that greeted the President of China on his trip to the US and being the first foreigner to ever be chosen for a championship round while competing in China (Lucy placed second)! Pretty impressive.
O. Can you describe what Wushu is and how it differs from other martial arts?
L. Wushu is a Chinese martial art, which is different from many martial arts because it can incorporate a mix of bare hand and long and short weapons.
O. How old were you when you started and how often do you train?
L. I was five when I started and I train two to three times a week.
O. What made you take up the sport?
L. My dad made me try it. My father originally started me in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do, but changed over to Wushu so I could explore my Chinese heritage. He thought it was important for good health, exercise, and to be around other kids that looked like me. I wanted to quit many times, but he encouraged me to stay. Now I see why.
O. You have won a lot of competitions and medals including placing first in all three disciplines at an international competition in Hong Kong, which ones mean the most to you?
L. Probably the ones from National Trials or any of the international medals/certificates that I’ve received.
O. Are there as many girls as boys taking part in the sport?
L. I believe there are an equal amount of boys and girls (obviously it changes from time to time.)
O. What do you like best about your sport?
L. I love the challenge it brings to me physically and mentally. I love how you make a lot of great friends that you can talk to about anything and that you meet a lot of great people along the way. I feel like we’re a traveling family in a train because we go everywhere together.
O. What’s the hardest thing about your sport?
L. I don’t really think anything is hard about the sport for me, but I think for other people it’s hard to go to practice and not attend school events, friend time, shopping, and other events like that.
O. Have you ever got hurt?
L. Not to where I break a bone or seriously get hurt but in the long run I can get long term injuries such as overuse, sprained ankle, and a lot of different knee problems. My father has taken me to a physical therapist for over two years so I can learn how to care for my body.
O. There are several different categories of Wushu, barehand, sword and broadsword – which do you like best and which are you best at?
L. I like barehand because I don’t have to think what I’m doing it’s all covered with muscle memory. I’m probably the best at broadsword or barehand. Broadsword is more appealing to people and barehand is normally what I win in competitions.
O. I heard that you competed in China. Was it how you expected it to be?
L. Not really, I mean you expect it to be like all the books and movies you see but in reality it’s really pretty, cleaner, and a lot of cars and buses.
O. What did you like best about returning to China and what did you like least?
L. I loved how I got to train there because it would take my mind off of all the stress and whatever was going on that bothered me. I really liked all of it.
Thank you, Lucy. The cousins and I wish you success in all your upcoming competitions.