Once upon a time, I had another blog called Random Thoughts Strung Together. It was indeed very random, largely devoid of actual content, and generally unnoticed by the masses.
In the year or so before I closed it down and started this new one, I found a voice and something I wanted to share. Those last few posts were the predecessors to this blog, and I’m grateful for the old one for letting me sort through my brain and find my voice.
One of my last posts was about my blue belt test. This part in particular stood out for me:
. . . Because this was a Milestone Test, we needed at least an hour. In fact, because there were three of us (two testing and one auditing), we ended up going ninety minutes.
It was intense, too. Lots of running, kicking, hitting, push ups, squats . . . and I did not pass out from lack of breath once. Although I did get pretty red in the face.
I’ll tell you something. I wasn’t ready for this. I needed a couple more weeks . . . I was prepared to not pass. I felt that, while I had some things down really well I totally farked other things up majorly. But . . . both testing Senseis either took pity on me or saw something I didn’t and presented me with a Blue Belt at the end of the evening.
Looking back, I remember feeling ready and prepared for my blue belt test right up until we started. Suddenly, I was being pushed further physically than I had in a very long time, and my memory failed me. I had trouble remembering the techniques. I was out of breath. I was frustrated. I was scared of failing and struggling to make peace with the fact I might have to take the test again.
Remembering all that, I was determined to not ever feel so unprepared again. I started training for my brown belt almost immediately. I took up running. I started taking extra classes every week. I looked for ways to build up my stamina and lung capacity.
If I had to do that same blue belt test now, I could. I am in better shape now than I was a scant year and a half ago. I saw where I could make improvements and I committed to myself to the challenge.
So, here I am. I let May be an easy month for me, as I needed the break. But now I’m back, and I’ve got three stripes between me and a black belt. None of these tests will be easy. My last “easy” test was my first-degree green belt.
But each test from here on out will be a testament to my hard work and dedication. It will be hard, but each time I pass, it will prove to myself that I am capable of things I never thought possible. I can reach past my fears, my failings, my foibles, and achieve my goals.
It’s a good feeling, to know that you’ve grown. It’s a good feeling to know that you still have some growing left to do.
Let’s grow together, shall we?