What a crazy exciting wonderful weekend it has been! Yesterday I was up at the world headquarters for my form of Karate testing for my 2nd kyu, in plain English, that is the 2nd level of brown belt putting me one test away from my blackbelt test. When I woke up yesterday morning, it was the first time since my very first test for rank that I was nervous. I wasn't just nervous, I was chills and nausea kind of nervous, which is a very very rare thing for me. I don't know why this test was different from the others, maybe because as you inch ever closer to blackbelt you know the expectations are so much higher? Maybe because I'm 41 and competitive martial arts are really more of a young person's sport and I did get a little bit of a late start in my karate career? Who knows? In any case, I sacked up and went for it.
As fate would have it, I was again the only woman testing in my group and I was called up first, and alone! There I stood, all 5'3" of me feeling like I was 15 feet tall standing proudly in front of the head of my form, a grandmaster blackbelt and karate legend, and a panel of esteemed blackbelts who's sole purpose is to watch every single move I make(hoping I have them all convinced that I'm a bad ass!). Demura sensei tells me to call my kata, and in keeping with my streak of insanity, I aimed high and called the most advanced kata I know. 47 moves later I finished and I didn't make any mistakes! *whew!* After that, the nerves faded and the nausea went away and the rest of my test was much less stressful. I won't have results for, well, it could be the end of the month or it could be the end of the year...but even if I didn't pass this time, I know I gave it my all.
A few hours after I got home and showered, the head to toe muscle aches began setting in. You don't realize how hard you're working when the adrenaline is coursing through every cell in your body, but after kata, basics, one point and free sparring, my body was tired! Ugh, don't you hate those moments where you're reminded that you aren't 20 anymore? The most ambitious thing I felt like doing was curling up with my blanket and a stack of magazines, so there I was, doing nothing in abundance when my cell chirped. Hmmm, an e-mail, let's investigate. What a great surprise to see that the universe rewarded my hard work with my first etsy sale! Whee! A good day just got even better! I think, in that moment, my grin could be seen from space. Usually it's my hair that can be seen from space.
This is a long post, but I'm excited, so feel free to go get a snack and stretch before I finish, I'll wait...
OK, we're back. To recap, testing, etsy sale, today...Everyone still with me? Today my son & I were competing in a karate tournament, both of us entered in kata and free sparring events. My son was pleased that for this tournament he was at the top of his age division, that's a good thing for a teenage boy. This is his 17th tournament, so he's seen all kinds of fighting styles and all that good stuff. I'll just get right to the facts: He took home the gold medal for kata and a bronze medal in free sparring, victories made more impressive by the fact that he beat out red belts, which are Jr black belts in our style (our style doesn't give black belts to students under 18, kids don't understand the honor & responsibility that goes with being a blackbelt), to earn that gold medal. For free sparring he got moved up an age division because of a 7'' growth spurt over the last year that made him taller that all the kids his age, so he went up against a 16 year old red belt for the semis and finished 3rd. I am so proud I could burst!
I earned silver medals for both of my events, losing my sparring match in a most amusing way. My son's kata event was doing their medal ceremony when I was fighting and when I heard his name called for the gold medal, I turned my head to look. In that split second, my opponent smiled at me just before she kicked me in the head. I didn't care, I'll take the kick to see my boy leaning in to receive his first gold medal. It's tough to switch back & forth between fighter and mom, but I will always be mom first. Once again, my grin can be seen from outer space.