I haven't posted much about it lately, but I've still been plugging away at my taekwondo studies. It doesn't seem possible, but I have been invited to test for my black belt on April 15th!! I expect the test to take between three and four hours, which will be a real physical challenge. As I've been joking with friends, I will be representing for the 'old ladies' in the program...there are four or five of us testing for black, and I am the only one over the age of 25! Ugh. (As we all know, I am WELL over the age of 25.)
In even more significant news, the head of our program, a man whom I respect deeply both personally and as a martial artist, asked me a month or so ago if I would consider becoming the instructor for the morning classes that I have been attending so religiously for the past five or so years. This transition would take place in the fall, when the current instructor moves on. I was both honored and terrified by the request, but I have chosen to accept his vote of confidence in me and on Monday, I turned in the first part of my official employment paperwork. I have been an assistant instructor for some time now, but it is an entirely different kettle of fish to be responsible for a class on my own--it is actually not allowed below the rank of black belt, which will add a whole additional level of significance to my April test.
In the Japanese martial arts, the term 'shodan' is used for first degree black belts. This term literally means 'first step," and signifies that the individual is now ready to begin the true journey. Let the journey begin!