I’m writing while this is still fresh in my mind. Yesterday 9/8/12 was my Black Belt Test. The feelingsand emotions that are involved leading up to the big day was overwhelming, exciting, draining, thrilling, and brought a profound sense of relief that the day had finally arrived.

I had some wonderful advice from many of my now current fellow black belts, “enjoy this day” , ” it’s YOUR day”, “3hours for 5 years of training” ” you’ve earned this”, “this is just a long group class”, “you know the material, just step up to the occasion” Up until this point of my test, these were just words, but as I was standing on the mat I thought to myself, YES, I have earned this and I’m going to preform to the best of my ability, I’m not going to disappoint anyone, most of all myself. I AM going to make mistakes, with this mindset, it worked for me. I did make mistakes, only a few though, and I’m genuinely proud to say that. I was tired beyond belief, drained of all energy and was encouraged by my instructors to keep moving, keep those arms up, don’t bend over out of exhaustion, keep strong and DON’T LOOK TIRED. I had one instructor who stood behind me telling me to breathe, “in through the nose, out through the mouth”, he said this over and over again – what a great help that was. Now that it’s over, I understand that’s it’s supposed to be anti-climatic, all this preparation and now what? What happens now is just the beginning of my karate journey, I look forward to continuing my learning, teaching and can’t wait to see what comes next.