Wearing the Belt

I’ve been in the dojo twice wearing my (new) blue belt and it’s starting to feel like something I can commit to. After the initial high of the belt test, followed by the low of letting down once I found out I passed, I did a lot of thinking. In karate, we incorporate the body-mind-spirit mudra into many of the movements we do. I feel rock solid in mind and spirit when it comes to my practice. I am committed cerebrally and spiritually, if you will. However, when it comes to my body, there are limitations (we all have our stories–past surgeries, injuries, etc.), some of which I can control and some of which I cannot.

My entire core and all the inner muscles of my legs need to be strengthened if I want to achieve more in my karate practice. My stances will never widen, my knees will never stop feeling the strain, and my kicks will never entirely be what they could be if I do not address this issue. Everything in karate, I mean EVERYTHING, comes from the center–even the slightest movement of the shoulders or pivoting of the feet, you name it, it’s grounded through the core and into the ground.

Now that I’ve earned the blue belt and been forced to think about what that kind of commitment means, I understand that it means something different for each person. For me, it means a commitment to body health. Not just eating healthy foods, but eating well–balanced meals, less of everything (in my case), and sweets only in small doses if at all. I generally eat healthy, but I probably eat too much and on the rate occasion that I discover a sweet treat I am not allergic to (rare), I usually overdose on it. This can no longer be the case.

I’ve started a regimen of crunches, pushups, and light arm and leg toning exercises since I passed my test. I’m journaling what I eat and what I do for a work out, and sticking to my goals. In short, getting fit will be my commitment to my blue belt, and I have a feeling I will wear it for at least a year. A new color, a new vision. A new goal, an new karateka.

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