So, after all my stressing about the belt test, it turned out to be much easier than I'd expected, certainly much easier than the last one. The difference? Last time my friend J and I were the low belts testing (the higher belts included one guy testing for Black) whereas this time we were the high belts testing and the group was much smaller. It was still almost two and a half hours long, but the bagwork and sparring elements were minimal and the boardbreaking pretty straightforward. I wasn't even breathing hard at the end of it, although I was disgustingly hot and had gone through almost half a gallon of ice water. An unexpected boon and I have to remember that this test was way easier than the norm will be when I'm preparing for the next one, but I'll take it. At any rate, I earned one of these (below) fair and square.
I have a belt rack for all my old belts; it hangs on the wall in our office and it's always satisfying to add one to it. Put the Red belt on there yesterday after the test--this is what it looks like now.
Annoyingly, this rack isn't quite big enough...wasn't thinking when I ordered it, apparently. Guess I'm going to have to stay at Black if I ever get there, since this one only has room for my current Senior Red belt plus Brown and Senior Brown (Black comes next.) Oh well.
On another note, I logged onto Facebook yesterday morning and saw the following post from a grad school friend who lives in Houston. Her house was filled with water up to the top of the first-floor wainscoting in the recent floods there, as background info.
Calling all Houston Friends: We need hands hauling stuff out of our house and to the curb. If you can come today, that would be amazing. Our address is XXXX and we'll be there from 9:30am until 9:30pm. Be forewarned, the floodwater included a LOT of sewage so if you're in any way immunocompromised you need to stay away. If you can bring hand soap, bleach, bleach wipes & dishwashing liquid it would be very helpful. Folks have been driving by with food donations and we have a bunch of water. Come party in poop-land!
That actually helped my stress levels a lot. No matter HOW bad my test was going to be, the day was not going to include cleaning a house that had been inundated with poop-filled water! As a dose of perspective, it was a whopper.