I have worn my Tae Kwon Do belt since I have left that dojo.I put it on once a year to remind myself of what I have accomplished and what ablack belt means. It means that the person wearing it is strong, confident andready to face the world. There is a small problem with that belt though. Itdoesn’t feel like mine anymore. It has my name on it, I have a certificate forit, and I remember very clearly earning it, but in comparison to the challengesI currently face and the values and beliefs I currently hold, my previousshodan carries less significance. In short, I am not the same person. I havegrown and changed compared to the small sixteen year old that stood on the gymfloor in Longmont, Colorado to tie on a black belt. I have become a rock, wherebefore I was a cracked stone, uncertain and unsure. I have become a solid forcefor good, whereas before I was indecisive. I am accepting and embracing whereasbefore I was snobbish.
Revisit the blog tomorrow for the next part of Jeff's essay.
To see Jeff earn his To-Shin Do shodan Black Belt, come to Winter Warrior 2013.