Some of you will spend the build up to your Black Belt test worrying as a sick feeling in your stomach accompanies your sleepless nights. You will find yourself snapping at friends, intolerant to others and damn right moody. Eating is a distant memory and the urge to be anywhere but here will grip you. You have just entered the last few days of your build up to your Dan grading. How do I know you feel like this? Because I have been there on many occasions. I have had that day when nothing but your test seems to occupy your mind and everything else is put on hold, so don’t worry, you are not alone in this and neither are you the first (or indeed the last) to experience it.
You may feel the day has crept up on you like a thief in the night: it hasn’t. This day began many years ago when you first entertained the thought of taking up a Martial Art. This day grew as you took your first nervous step inside a dojo and this day made itself known to you after your first grading, that elusive yellow belt. Sometimes you said goodbye to this day and was glad to do so, only to have it return sometime later knocking on your conscious and demanding to be let back in.
Well you let it back in even though you knew it would be painful, sparring hard, fitness drills tough and the sacrifice too much to bear, but bear it you did. Endure it you did, laughed through it you did and now it is here. Now it is here for you as others fell by the wayside, left wanting.
You were not left wanting for you deserve this day no matter what the outcome. You deserve to stand on the mats and say “here I am, you have been waiting for me and here I am.” The glory will be yours, the suffering your own, the triumph for you.
All you can do is give it your all but isn’t that what you have been doing all these years? So do it again, give your all one more time and embrace the places a Black Belt test can take you too. You will never have this same day again.