The black belt test is currently close to 2 months in and I am feeling really excited about this journey. I have been training at RMF for about 12 years and I think that all of my training over the years is finally coming together and I'm looking forward to seeing how I continue to progress throughout this process. Earning my black belt is a culmination of all the work I have been putting in for the past 11 or so years. I felt like my training had come to a standstill for a little because I wasn’t going to be promoted anymore and I think that the black belt process has helped me become motivated again. Starting this process has given me even more motivation in class and I can definitely see improvement in my training during class. I am also excited to be able to train and grow together with the rest of the black belt team because I think it can also translate into regular class time. One thing I am nervous about is the duration of the test which is 5 hours because I’m concerned about being able to last the 5 hours. However, I know that by putting in the work over the 9 months I will be able to last the 5 hours and be able to perform well. I also think that it will serve as motivation to continue to put in the work to be able to withstand the duration of the test. Being a black belt is really important to me because a black belt has always been what I’ve been working towards throughout my training. While a black belt has always been an end goal I think it’s even more important than that because being a black belt is also about how you act and what your character is. Sensei always says “a black belt is a white belt that never quit” and I think that’s really important because it shows that a black belt is a kind of completion to training and can only be achieved through hard work and perseverance. I really hope that by the end of this journey I feel as though I have truly earned my black belt because I do not want to go through the process and feel unfulfilled at the end. I also hope to have a new respect for training and the process that I would have just completed. Overall I am very excited to have finally started this process and can’t wait to continue to work towards my black belt.