Thursday, February 19, 2015

my little Black Belt

"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

It's been a long road ...

Over six years, many belts, a couple of uniform changes, 2 pairs of sparring booties, and a small fortune going to Yoyo Berri (frozen yoghurt establishment conveniently located next door to martial arts studio) for celebratory treats ... hours for me sitting on what I call "the waffle iron" but my backside surely knows as "the rack" ... countless trips to class and tournaments schlepping giant equipment bag along with bo staff, nuchaku (nunchuks), sinawali (double sticks), wooden sword and foam sword (we have a small arsenal of hard and soft weapons) ... essays, book reports (I ask you, would YOU want to read a 2000 word essay by a 10 year old? What Black Belt means to me) and checklists completed ... push ups, sit ups, jumping rope (and I started running in anticipation of the 2 mile run only to have them drop that requirement once I was hooked back into running!) ... sizeable dent to my bank account ... and I know you are wondering: Was it worth it?

For the smile on that face? For the confidence, swagger, intensity, focus, and pride in her achievement?  


In the years of preparation, I've picked up a few things while sitting on the bench (a.k.a. Waffle Iron):  besides choke hold, windpipe chop, horse bite (grab your attacker by the forearm sleeves and jerk down), ear muffs (smack both your hands into their ears, then pull their head down into your upwardly moving knee) I've learned ...

Winning Black Belts know who they are and where they are going. They understand themselves and their goals.

Winning Black Belts keep an overall attitude of optimism and enthusiasm. Winners understand that life is a self fulfilling prophecy - a person usually gets what he or she actively expects over the long run.

Winning Black Belts have the ability to accomplish anything they want to achieve. Winners understand that a strong belief in themselves and hard work will result in achieving their goals.

Winning Black Belts commit to their dreams and goals and work diligently to achieve them. Winners make a pledge to devote their energies to the successful realization of their goals


It was a very good day for all.  It was an important reminder that a strong belief in yourself is the foundation, but relying upon a host of teachers, friends, and family to encourage, support and sustain you is also required.  The hardest thing for this independent girl - and a lesson for me - is acknowledging the need for assistance.  In the end, that may be the most important lesson of them all.

"Most humbling of all is to comprehend the lifesaving gift that your pit crew of people has been for you, and all the experiences you have shared, the journeys together, the collaborations ... the solidarity you have shown one another. Every so often you realize that without all of them, your life would be barren and pathetic. It would be Death of a Salesman, though with e-mail and texting."


  1. You should be so incredibly proud of your daughter. Whatan accomplishment for her young age. Congratulations to each of you. xo

  2. wow.

    having suffered -- and yes, i was PURE AGONY -- girl-child taking karate lessons for about, oh, three weeks -- i can safely say that this is a tremendously gigantic achievement!! and at the tender age of 10?!?!?

    and what an incredible series of lessons for Cowgirl -- and to have them in her formative years -- look out, world!!!

    heartiest congratulations to you all -- the new black belt and her pit crew!!!


    ps. i can already see the look on girl-child's face when i tell her.....the ghost of flashbacks flickering in her eyes...*gigglesnort*...before the pure awe sets in. :)

  3. Congratulations to you and Cowgirl! What an achievement! And it sounds like it is the foundation for many more life successes.

  4. Really great post nice work i love your work. Thanks. Keep sharing.
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