Friday, June 04, 2010

Testing for Black Belt

I'm testing for black belt tomorrow and all week long I've felt this strange sort of detachment. I'm worried about my legs - I've been working with a torn right hamstring and adductor muscle and then last weekend I strained my left hamstring. I'm disappointed that I'm not at my best physically but everyone assures me that it's really common to hurt yourself just before the black belt test. So I'm dealing with that. Last Friday was my last morning class with Master Dylan. I knew it was coming. He gave us the news months ago that he would be stopping the morning classes as soon as I got my black belt. But it hasn't really sunk in yet that it's over. He was in New York this week and I think I've been treating this as though he's just been out of town and when he's back we'll resume our normal schedule. But that's not going to happen and so suddenly, I'm confronted with all these emotions that I haven't really connected to yet. The relationship between Master and student is really unique and special and so I'm mourning the loss of that regular interaction. At the same time I'm forging a new relationship with Master Robie but it's different. Master Dylan is definitely more focused on hapkido and the spiritual and internal aspects of martial arts whereas Master Robie is more focused on the kicking techniques and sparring. And I wonder, how am I going to fit this into my schedule now that I'll have to go to evening classes? Mornings were so much easier for me. How is this going to work? What will I have to sacrifice? All of this is swirling around in my head and it's pushing away all thoughts of the actual test. Or maybe, I'm subconsciously pushing those thoughts away. This has been a dream of mine for years and it's about to come true. What happens when it does? When I cross that off my list I'm sure I'll feel pride and an enormous sense of accomplishment but what if I also feel a let down? I was telling Tom tonight that I don't feel nervous and that should worry me. He told me that I've been on a journey of a thousand steps and now I've gone 997 and there are only 3 more to go. This journey is nearly complete and the outcome is almost certain. And now I'm sitting here staring at those last 3 steps and it's almost like I'm afraid to take them - and yet, I'm terrified I'll miss them. That's the weird thing.

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