This nine-year-old from Ireland is a force to be reckoned with: Badass kid sword fighter Jesse Jane McParland has taken the social media world by storm with her recent video that features a lot of screaming, a lot of kicking, a lot of flipping, and a really, really impressive-looking sword. McParland is the embodiment of fierce, and I don't think I'm alone when I say I want to be her when I grow up — even though I'm already a grown-ass woman. You can always keep learning from other people, even if you're older than them, right?
The video was from the Junior World Association of Kickboxing Organization World Champtionships, and within 24 hours of it being posted, the clip gained literally millions and millions of views. It's currently up to 54 million in 48 hours. Why the hubbub? Um, probably because Jesse is a pint-sized warrior who I definitely want around me should the zombie apocalypse ever hit.
But it's not just because of her size, or her gender, or the fact that she is flipping through the air with a very dangerous weapon slung around her neck. McParland, who is a two-time WAKO World Champion, is so deeply invested in her routine that you honestly forget to breathe for a moment. She is 100 percent committed. It's that element, more than anything else, that makes this video so incredibly inspirational.
Here, take a watch:
McParland's family wanted her to be an Irish dancer; she's now one of the best sword fighters in the world. I want to be her when I grow up, even though she's nine years old. Kids can be an inspiration regardless of their ages. Here are a few more:
1. Iain Loves Theatre
Someday, I want to have a son. And I want that son to be exactly like Iain, the musical reviewing and memorizing prodigy. At only seven years old, Iain is so beloved by the Broadway community that he was able to attend last year's Tony Awards, had his rewrite of the instant classic Hamilton: The Musical performed by the cast, and performed in front of hundreds of people vying for Hamilton tickets last month. He played all the parts. I squealed the whole time.
2. Yasha & Daniela
These two babies, featured on America's Got Talent, can dance better than I will ever, ever be able to. Plus, their costumes are dope. Daniela in particular is a bossy princess, and I'm going to start taking relationship tips from her as well.
3. Iris Grace
Dubbed "The five-year-old Monet" after becoming an Internet sensation last year, Iris Grace is an artist from the U.K. She's also nonverbal and on the autism spectrum, and since taking up painting in therapy, Grace's entire world has opened up: She communicates volumes through her work. The family sells prints of her Impressionistic beauties, the funds from which go into a savings account and help pay for Grace's various forms of therapy (physical, speech, and yoga).
4. Simone Biles
OK, OK, she's not a "kid," although to be at the very top of the gymnastics world at the age of 18 means she's been doing this for, like, a really long time. Simone Biles recently won the Individual All-Around World Gymnastics Championship, beating out Gabby Douglas. You know, that Olympian who we all know and love? At only 4'9," she packs an insane amount of power into her routines.
Image: Joan Valls/Flickr