Started training in January 2009, age 31
Tested for red bely June 24, 2017, age 40
I have thought about this essay many times over the years as I moved through the belts. Putting it in writing is more difficult than I expected. I do not like to talk about my Karate Journey very much, I think it is too personal to talk about casually. My journey is special to me because it is my journey, my path, my opportunity to grow. I have seen many people pass me on the way, some continue to Black Belt and many more fade away on to other things. I used to struggle with my turtle like progress and think “how are they so good?” or “why are they ready and I am still stuck with these impossible katas all twisted in my brain”? Over the years I have learned that it doesn’t matter who passes me by, it is about me and my growth and my strength not compared to others but compared to where I was yesterday and where I will be tomorrow.
I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of not just in Karate but in life. I joke that I do not really like Karate but it is only because I cannot quantify what it is I like about it. Karate helps me to push myself in a way I never would have.
I never looked at the belt wall and envisioned I would ever be here, I never look for my black belt in the case. My goal has always been about one class at a time, one step in the direction of getting stronger and more coordinated. I am proud to look up and see where my journey has taken me and I am ready to look it head on and accept the challenge of what lies ahead.
Sortor Karate and the Dojo community to me is a community of strength and support, compassion and empowerment and I am honored to be part of this community. I am inspired by all of you every day.
I would like to thank my husband Dan for all his support and encouragement and thank you to Patty who always pushes me to try harder and inspires me to be better. Thank you Wendie for all you do and thank you Sensei Brian for being such an amazing teacher and for pushing me to be a the best person I can be. And lastly thank you to the dojo community who supports me every day inside and outside of the dojo. OSS.