It is officially here…test day. I am not going to lie, I am a bit nervous. I know what waits for me later this afternoon…. pain, exhaustion and exhilaration. It is something I can do. It is something I want to do.
We have been training for this specific test for a couple of months. The training has been brutal at times. I have had to stretch myself beyond what I thought I could do.
Each time I had a particularly sweat inducing, physically demanding and mentally challenging training I would drag myself off the mat and reflect on the victory I just experienced. Some days the victory was simply not falling down on the side of the mat and laying there until the next day. Other days it came with trusting myself and remembering everything I have been working so hard to know. No matter how small, anything was a victory worth celebrating.
One of the best things that has come from this training has been overcoming my push-up nemesis. That particular part of the test was one that was giving me the most anxiety, because I struggled after 15 and we are required to do 25 full plank push-ups. My husband, son and I started a little daily add-on challenge. We started with 3 squats, 1 push-up and 1 V-up. The next day we added one more set and so forth until we reached 75 squats, 25 push-ups and 25 V-ups. The first part of the challenge was pretty easy…the last week, not so much. However, it gave me the opportunity to gradually strengthen what I needed in order to achieve my goal.
The best part of the physical aspect of our test today is that it is over in 3 minutes. I can do anything for 3 minutes (most days).
The mental part of the test is going to be incredible for me. It is the time when I use the tool I have been given to ‘trust myself’ and the training I have received. I have learned more about trusting myself with this particular set of instructors. These little words allow me to do what I innately know, to allow my body to react naturally. The key for me is to keep the fear and uncertainty out of my heart. There is not room enough for those emotions today.
Karate has become a part of me. I am stronger as a person. Fear that once resided in my heart has been replaced with ability to do hard things. Learning to allow myself to be vulnerable has brought the gift of strength. Trusting myself has opened my mind to see what I can do.
Today represents one step closer to my black belt. I love this journey.