How did I get here?

How did I get here?
 
I recently earned my brown belt in martial arts.  The key word to me is ‘earned’ since my journey has been long and the test was hard.  I have been training for 7 years and the brown belt test was 70 minutes long.  As I leaned down, placed my hands on my knees, and was gulping for air after 40 minutes, my instructor yelled something that sounded like “there are no breaks allowed”.  I’m not sure those were his words, but I did stand up and prepare for the next command.
 
I must give context that achieving brown belt includes testing your stamina, flexibility, and balance.  Every kick, and backhand strike, and form involves spinning.  LOTS of spinning.  I have been trained to spin and maintain focus on the target (whipping my head around at the exact right moment), and landing my kick where it is intended.
 
So he was challenging me to do what I’ve been trained for.  And I responded in kind.
 
There was a moment before the test where the words of encouragement went something like this “You have trained and you know what to do.  Your head knows and your body knows.  Today is about demonstrating that in front of people.”  It made me realize it is not like a test in school where you may or may not have studied the right sections, and you may or may not have understood.  I have trained.  I did know it.  And for those 70 minutes, I sure did demonstrate it.  There were four black belts assessing me.  And other students, family, and friends watching.
 
As for those people watching…I didn’t see them.  I was so focused that all I saw was the target.  Just like I should have.
 
How did I get here?  Indeed.

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Wordless Wednesday – Shortest International Bridge

Smallest International Bridge

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How did I get here? – Aug 17, 2014

How did I get here?  I spent 7 straight hours at our martial arts academy and wasn’t in class.

Little One and Big One are testing for their Black Belts!  Testing together, and ready for anything.

I was doing laundry at midnight washing their uniforms after their last prep class to make sure they are clean and crisp and ready in the morning.  I then got up early to prepare a breakfast of champions.  They needed to eat in time to allow digestion before the test started at 8:00 am.  My tasks in the process were important, but not the tough part.  They will do all the work today.

One of the best “mom decisions” I made was enrolling them in martial arts years ago.  Big One started with me 7 years ago.  And Little One started 5 years ago.  With Big One away at University for two years, they have arrived at this milestone together.  Before the test, they look fresh and happy.

Black Belt test

7 hours later, with only a “15 minute lunch break” and two 5 minute breathing breaks, they both passed!  They worked hard, for all the years and all the classes, and then they demonstrated everything they learned during their test.  They are strong, mentally and physically, and they did it together.  They stuck with it through the years, all the while handling school and part-time jobs, and time with friends and family.

After the test, they still look pretty darn good, and happy.  I am proud of them.  And in awe.

Black Belt test (after)

How did I get here?  Indeed.

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