Yesterday a student of mine achieved her goal of becoming a candidate for the black belt testing cycle, starting this Saturday. It is a powerful feeling to know that I have helped her to this point in her life. There were many times when she said that if I hadn't been on the mat she would not have come to class. She would have turned around and walked out the door. But since I was always there, she came to class. She has had a hard road. She had already lost over 100 pounds when she started and was still a big lady, but she didn't let anything stop her. She just did what she could and each day she could do more.
Last week she let me know that she did 60 sit ups. That was a huge moment for her, matched only by this moment, passing this test. Now she wants to find the candidate belt that my son, nephew and I all had. She wants to wear it as a good luck charm and a focus for what she can achieve. I can't tell you what this feels like, except that when I go to sleep thinking about this, I will fall asleep with a smile on my face.