I'm terrified. I have a test coming up in 2 weeks. This isn't just a test on paper. If it were, I would be fine. I have never had trouble taking tests in school. There might have been the occasional intimidating test or project, but overall test taking was a non-issue for me. This test is a bit different. It's my test for my black belt in karate.
Let me start at the beginning of the story. About 6 years ago, my parents bought karate lessons for my son, who was then 6-years-old. This is my child who doesn't like change or new things. While he is a relatively outgoing kid now, he wasn't at that point. We went to the intro class and he was so shy that he didn't want to get up and do the intro class. Instead of letting him quit, or not begin, I did what every good mom does and I got up there and did it with him. Little did I know that I would fall in love with it and continue my own studies to this point (and beyond).
It has been a lot of fun and very challenging. We are not what I would call a squishy, easy kind of school. As martial arts are known for, we teach discipline and respect, self control and self discipline. We also do a lot of hands on things like weapons and and candles and sparring and brick breaking. A lot of schools do some of those, but not all of them. I have to say that our tests set us apart from other schools, though. We test on everything from white belt to the current belt that one is testing for. At least in our area, a lot of schools seem to just test on the current material learned. I'm not being critical of them or judging. Honestly, they are all great people, as far as I can tell. It's just a bit frustrating that people I know that go to different schools that started about the same time as I did are already black belts and have been for the last couple years.
Fast forward 4 1/2 years to my brown belt tests. In our system, we have 3 levels of brown belt. The first brown belt I passed. The second brown belt, I didn't pass. The second brown belt, I didn't pass...again. It took me 3 times to pass my Brown 2 test. Ick and ouch. I did manage to pass Brown 3 in one try and now onto Black. That's what's coming in 2 weeks...less than 2 weeks. The test is 2 weeks from yesterday, as I write this. I really don't want to take this test more than once. Five or 6 hours of seriously intense testing which includes running, sparring, candles, blindfolded sparring, techniques, katas, brick breaking, weapons, and who knows what else is not something I want to have to do again because I failed it. That's where this expression comes in:
I have been working on this for 6 years. I love it! For someone that loves to learn, this is ideal because I get to learn new things all the time. Even during times when I am not learning new techniques or material, I am still learning and refining. It's a physical activity, which I love, too. But I still doubt myself and my abilities. Doubt is not helpful. It's not from God. It is a lie the enemy tries to get me to believe. Now is my time to believe. It is time to believe in myself and in all the hundreds of hours of work I have put in. It's time to go and do it.
I'm sure you will be hearing more about my black belt pre-test jitters and ramblings in the next couple weeks, but I'd love to hear about your fears and how you faced and conquered them in the meantime. Comment below.