In the following months after I bowed out of the black belt cycle I devoted my time to rehabbing my knee. After several months I met with my Sensei and the decision was made that I take 1 class a week — a weapons class — that would limit torching or high impact.
I continued taking this class at the martial arts school for several months. With my limited involvement — not being able to train, spar or grapple with the other black belt candidates at the martial arts school — I found myself experiencing sadness and discouragement.
With my awareness, I slowly made the decision to stop training completely at the martial arts school. In the process I came to realize that I needed to physically detach myself from the martial arts school before I could begin to heal from my loss.
Over the summer I continued to rehab my knee and in the fall of 2009 I increased my cardio work outs, weight training and heavy bag drilling at the Y. In late October of 2009 I attended the black belt graduation to support my friends who passed the black belt test.
During the past several months I have experienced a shift in my perspective. I regained my warrior spirit and my motivation. More importantly my focus has shifted. I have resolved that — because of my knee — I may never be able to test for my black belt.
With my change in perspective, motivation and focus I have let go of one dream and made the decision to pursue another goal. As a friend of mine — a 7th degree black belt — has reminded during the past 10 years, “sharpen the tools you have; and you have many.” Consequently…
My goal now is to pursue excellence through drilling, smoothing and sharpening my tools. I may not be able to participate in a 10 month black belt cycle to test for a black belt, but I can learn how to use what I have in my tool box in ways that work for me.
Once my perspective, motivation and focus changed I was able to let go of one dream to pursue another dream — to pursue excellence through smoothing, drilling and sharpening my tools.
Please read Part 3 for context. Thank you.
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