This day has been three years in the making. Both kids have been through hundreds of classes, practicing forms, punches, and kicks three to four times a week. For the past month, they have studied hard to make sure they knew the meanings of all the Taekwondo belt colors and the definitions of many core values that are taught in order to pass the written test. Dozens of children AND adults tested on Saturday for their black belts.
It was a long, grueling day. We dropped the kids off at 7:30am to begin their fitness testing and the written exam. They had to run three miles in 45 minutes without walking more than one lap in a row. Our boy did well and said he wants to run three miles every day. I'd like some of his energy. And our girl crossed the finish line with fifteen seconds to spare. She's our slow poke, mostly because she gets distracted by shiny objects.
There are certain parts of the black belt testing that are not flexible. You have to pass them in order to earn your black belt. Finishing the three miles in under forty five minutes is one. Board breaks is another. There are two different board breaks that must be completed successfully. Our baby got hers on the first try with both. We were surprised and thrilled. The boards used at testing are brand new and not atall easy to break. Her brother, who had done much better in class with board breaks than she, did not break both of his boards in testing. At that point, he knew he would not be earning his black belt. It made for a long hour and a half to follow.
She was so proud and excited to earn her black belt.
Yet she managed to show a great deal of empathy for her brother without rubbing it in that he had not earned his. We have plenty of sibling moments on the home front where bragging is taken too far and feelings are trampled a bit in the process. This wasn't one of those days. She made me proud. All around.
She didn't take off her uniform or new belt the rest of the day. And I'm pretty sure she slept in her new belt, too. Followed by last night, when she slept with it under her pillow. Because that is supposed to be good luck. She is excited to continue taking karate lessons as a black belt and talks of wanting to become an instructor when she's old enough. She has awesome role models now for that, with two high school girls who are instructors at her school. The boy will be able to test again in June for his black belt. Hard life lessons in disappointment were handled by him on Saturday.