I am officially a black belt.
Saturday was the black belt ceremony, where we received our belt.
Earning my black belt has been a life goal since I was 18. I was excited, but like everything in my life I kept it muted. I am not allowed to be excited or it escalates my children. Apparently, I did not keep it muted enough.
The day was pretty horrible. I hate when I have very limited expectations and it still turns out to be a horrible day. I do not want to get into it, but sometimes autism and schizoaffective disorder just sucks. This was one of those moments.
I ended up arriving to the ceremony frustrated with one child's behavior and ended up leaving early due to another child's behavior. Maybe it is worse because I did not think that it would be an issue. This is the same dojang that we spend a good portion of our time. My daughter should be use to it, but ultimately it was too much for her.
One of my daughters managed to take some pictures, but on Monday - my first class as a black belt - we got a picture of us together. It is my favorite.
I know I have a lot of training left, that there is so much more I can improve. But when I tied on that belt I knew that I had earned it. It was very exciting to have it sitting around my waist on Monday as we did class.
Yes! You read that right - I passed my black belt test. My daughter pointed out that there was little chance of me failing as I had completed everything on the test. Then I pointed out that she was just as excited and relieved after her interview where she officially passed. She then agreed.
The ceremony is on Saturday. I will officially receive the belt that has been tied to a post on the wall for weeks now. I will get my new uniforms. I can officially wear black pants! This is something only black belts can wear in our dojan. I do not think the guys truly understand the difficulty with white pants.
This is a weird period - being a black belt but not a black belt. Half the time we are included with the black belts and the other half the red belts. I almost always choose the wrong group and have to be asked to change (or I see where all the kids went). Soon that will be over.
There are articles about how nothing changes when you are a black belt. I do not have the belt on my waist and I disagree with this. Just realizing that I passed the test, five hours of total endurance, has taught me that I can go furhter. I pushed a little harder when I ran yesterday and went further than ever before without having to stop to walk it off. I go harder in class, work more, and feel more confident. I did not magically become amazing at taekwondo, but I learned that I can push myself to be better.
I imagine that once this process ends that this column will stop being weekly and start being occasionally. While Taekwondo is still a big part of my life, the everyday training is not as exciting as the key moments.
The final test, the meeting with Grandmaster is on next Thursday. A little over a week left to go. I am not nervous. I sat through my daughters test and understand what to expect. It is nothing like the five hours of endurance testing that we have already overcome.
Until then I keep practicing. They are teaching us black belt curriculum already. No, the expect us to already know black belt curriculum. These kids who tested with me, who I helped learn all their forms and techniques, are now belting out the black belt curriculum. Then there is me. I was so focused on learning what I needed that I did not bother learning beyond.
Why would I?
We will be studying this poomse for the next two years. I am not in a hurry to devour it. I want to learn it and perfect it.
I miss learning from a Master that is more traditional.
I have been thinking a lot about my weight. I cannot seem to loose it. I have been thinking about a doing a Whole30, but I think the philosophy is a bit extreme. Instead I am working on improving the small aspects of my diet. I am already mostly Paleo already. I plan on starting to reread some more of my health books in the near future.
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