I TESTED FOR 2ND KYU TONIGHT (THURSDAY) AS SCHEDULED, and just returned home after a late dinner. My main emotion is relief that the test is over, which is just fine; I’ve been looking forward to this feeling for over a week. The anxiety was self-inflicted, since I signed up for this freely and willingly, but it was there as usual before a test. I got most of it under control by reminding myself to trust my training, and that it wasn’t just the past two weeks that counted. My entire six-plus years of Aikido got me to this point.
I think the test went pretty smoothly. The two things I most worried about – a mental block, or failing to recognize a technique Sensei called – did not happen. And like my previous two tests – for 3rd Kyu and pre-2nd Kyu – I was able to live in the moment and enjoy the test while it was happening.
Results will be ready one week from the test date, as usual. I have no way of knowing until then whether I passed or failed, and there’s no need to. My rank in Aikido matters only to me and the goals I have set for myself. In our school you can train for a lifetime without testing, if that’s what you want. That said, there are advantages to advancing in rank, such as being eligible to participate in clinics and advanced training such as Kenshu. For me, it’s some objective evidence (there’s my FDA jargon creeping in) of the progress I’ve made.
With the test completed and my cycling goal met, there’s only my 1,000 mile running goal left to accomplish this year. Just under 100 miles to go, and 22 days to accomplish it. Coach Marie said she would put together a plan for me. I can hardly wait.
P.S. One other event – unfortunately, a very sad event – has significantly affected my life this week. One of my closest friends and his wife lost their oldest son yesterday at age 24 due to complications after surgery. Of all the unfair things that happen in life, this one has got to be near the top. All I can say right now is that I love them dearly and will do whatever I can to help them through this very difficult time.