Due to some scheduling changes, and the fact that Middle wanted to go in early and help with the beginner children's color belt tests today, we wound up staying at the dojang for 5 and a half hours, and then spent another hour and a half eating and engaging in Karate Nerd conversation tonight.
I probably overdid things a bit today, but it felt so good and the muscle I pulled in my hip (what else is new?) doesn't really hurt so much right now.
But really, it's all good. Middle has 22 days before his black belt test. If I so choose, I will test for red the same day. Not making any decisions yet; I'm just working as hard as I can to fix the things that need to be fixed and I'll see where I am closer to the date. I went in today planning to go over all of my forms and wound up spending 2 hours working on just one of the recent ones - with much of that time really spent only on the last 4 moves of it. Like, make this one motion look more like two distinct motions and rechamber the right fist before throwing it out again as a punch. Amazing how much effort it took to change just these two details, and how much better I looked as a result.
And that was one I thought I had mastered. I can only imagine what I might find if I dig into some of my older material...
My standards for a red belt are pretty high. As they should be. I don't just want to wear the belt; I want to feel like I've achieved the rank and have met my own standard for it. And seven hours of practice and discussion brought me only a small step closer to that, with so many more to go.
This an extremely time-consuming discipline, if it is to be done right. As always, I am grateful for the time I have on days like today to really immerse myself in conditioning and improving, grateful for the friends and teachers who take me seriously and show me what needs work, and eternally grateful for my family for supporting me and Middle as we approach these next milestones.
Feeling blessed. And exhausted. And proud. And humbled.