It all started with kicking drills against red and black, round shaped kicking pads. I then moved on to sparring where I got punched in the neck. I couldn't breathe. I kept going and this ended up being one of the best days of my life. This was all a part of my black belt test at the beginning of my Sophomore year. Testing for my black belt has been a dream of mine and I'm proud that I finally got here.
It was the beginning of the school year and I was in eighth grade. My mom saw an ad from Championship Martial Arts. She asked, "hey, would you want to try this?" I ended up saying yes without truly knowing what I was getting myself into. I tried a class and it seemed like fun, so I continued to go to classes. It became a part of my weekly routine. It was a good stress reliever, so I enjoyed that it acted as a study break.
I didn't realize how long I had been going to classes because all of a sudden, my instructors came up and said, "Your black belt test is in a year from now. It's time to start reviewing and really preparing." I was nervous and excited at the same time. My goal would finally come true and I'm close to achieving it. I was very motivated to keep going and to try my best.
There was a lot of preparation to do for this test. It took a lot of effort and determination. I started going to more classes and practicing at home. To prepare, there were multiple parts to complete and turn in at least 2 weeks before the test. There was a fitness portion where I had to do 5,000 pushups, sit-ups, burpees, and squats. It was a lot, but it forced me to space it out and to be physically prepared. I actually procrastinated a bit and I ended up doing 100 burpees every day for a week. I definitely do not recommend. I needed letters of recommendation from a teacher and a school counselor, and I also wrote an essay explaining what a black belt means to me and why it is important.
It finally came the day of the test. It lasted 6 hours and it took a lot of focus and effort. The most important part of it was surviving the test and getting through it. It was difficult, but I had people alongside me, and we were all cheering each other on. In the end, I found out that I passed and I was so happy that all of this hard work paid off. I also had a marching band competition the next day, so that was a fun weekend.
Even though I knew most of these things going into it, this experience taught me how important they are. One that stands out is having the confidence and believing in yourself. With most tasks and goals, a majority part is mentally knowing that you can do it. It might be harder at the moment, thinking that it's impossible, but I promise it will all be worth it in the end.