Prepared for Testing


(This is an actual picture of me…hey, how did I get that tattoo?”

I’m writing this post back at the end of January but I see this won’t be posted until near the beginning of July. My goal by this time is to have received permission to test for 6th Degree Black Belt at the World Expo next Thursday morning at 7 a.m. (What? 7?) I have been training, especially on the Fitness Test portion. I’ve been recording my progress daily on the 35 pushups I must accomplish within a minute and the holding of a 2:21 forearm plank position.

Last year at this time I experienced some anxiety. I hadn’t been to the Expo in years (not since 2006 when I tested for 5th). I was going for a third midterm to wrap up that requirement. I think I was concerned about performing for the judges all week long. Up until Thursday when I walked into the testing arena and saw hundreds of other testers all preparing. I went through some stretches and pieces of my form to get used to the mat surface…

…and felt better. I thought, “I can do this. It’s a testing. I’ve been through many before, even a couple here at the Expo. I can do this.”

And I did. I was the first name called so I was able to do my form and sparring first. When it came to boards, I believe I went second. I don’t mind going first. I get it done with. I don’t have to stand there waiting my turn. During the fitness test afterward, I did alright. I don’t know if it was exceptional, but I did alright. Unfortunately, I didn’t pass. If I would have broken my boards on the first attempt, I probably would have passed. However, I did another midterm at the Sioux Falls tournament two months later and passed.

Now, here I am again. At the time of this writing, I am anxious. I’m cool with my form. I’m okay with my sparring but I will do fine. I’m confident (but not overly so) with my board breaks. As I write this, I remember I will have some opportunities to train further with my instructor during the month of February. I am anxious about the fitness test. I do not like pushups. When I’ve tried to get 35 completed in a minute, I get to about 20 and my body has reached its limit. The plank is just as excruciating. 60-90 seconds and I’m done. To last 2:21…

However, I plan to progress into it. I cannot give up. I cannot slough off. I must do this. I must be confident about the fitness test. Otherwise…well, let’s not consider otherwise. The fitness test, if done exceptionally, can add to my overall point total for testing, which might put me over the top for passing.

Right now, I’m feeling good. Let’s see how I feel when this posts.

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