Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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promotion by degrees.....

Today I got an e-mail from Shihan saying that I (as well as three other fellow first-degree black belts and one advanced brown belt) should turn in my black belt this weekend and start wearing a white belt in class from now on, at least until the black belt promotion, which starts on 20 March. This weekend, said the e-mail, we'd be getting our promotion invitations.

So yeah, it looks like it's official that I'm going for my second degree.

I'm at once excited, honored, nervous, apprehensive, thrilled, grateful, and about a gajillion other emotions all churning around.

It helps that I'm going up with others. The other three black belts going up with me for second degree are all good people, and dear friends, and the advanced brown belt going for his first degree has more than earned it. It's gonna be a great promotion, I think, and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

And also scared of it. I mean, I was the prototypical 98-pound weakling when I was a kid. My school sports career consisted of one year of soccer for the worst team in the lower Westchester area (we not only never won a game, we were never in any danger of winning a game) and one year of Little League where my team finished ninth in an eight-team league (okay, not really, we finished eighth, but the point is, we sucked hard), and after that I focused on things like theatre and writing and abandoned any possibility of athletics.

And then I grew up and became a writer and editor and someone who sat on his ass in front of a keyboard all day. And then I turned 35, developed a hiatal hernia, had feet and knees that were in such constant pain that I had to take prescription pain meds, and I was overweight, and I realized that maybe exercise should be something I'd consider.

Eight and a half years later, I'm going for a second stripe on my black belt. What a long strange trip it's been.

I'll be talking about this a lot more over the next couple of weeks, I suspect. Just to, y'know, warn you....

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