Cast your thoughts back to the beginning of May when I had a great plan for how I was going to steadily work toward my next black belt test on Sunday, June 19th.
I was so young and foolish then. That was back before a series of migraines (or was it just one long migraine?) and the associated pre & post symptoms kept me groggy and out of sorts for over two weeks in the first part of May.
And that was before the perfectly reasonable amount of work tasks I had scheduled for those two weeks had to be jammed into the week before I had to travel to the other side of the country for a conference. And it was before I was travelling, and at a conference, and then off to a writing retreat, and then off to teach a workshop, and then teaching another workshop. And it was before my knee decided to get cranky for a few days and before my back got jealous and did the same.
So, let’s just say that my slow and steady plan was not at all feasible.
Instead, I had to follow a nooks and crannies plan – jamming patterns and practice and exercise and theory into any little space that I could pry open in my schedule.
I had to use persistence (which, when I can activate it, is one of my superpowers) to just keep plugging away at everything and trust that it would work out.
I did my written theory test last week and I did quite well. I’m proud of the fact that I was able to work out some of the correct answers by applying my knowledge, even when I didn’t *know* the answer for sure.
All the physical testing will be on Sunday and even though I haven’t been able to do things the way I meant to, I still feel good about it.
I wasn’t able to physically practice as much or as often as I had planned to, but I did extra mental/visualization practice whenever I had a chance.
During my physical practice, I alternated between focused practice on my most recent patterns and directing my energy towards sharpening some fundamental movements that will improve my technique overall.
And now I am down to just a few days of practice and I want to spend them wisely.
As I was planning my week, I was tempted to try to create an epic schedule of practice and exercise, but, luckily, a more sensible part of my brain prevailed.
Instead, I plan to do daily yoga, daily practice for my patterns and for other specific movements, and to do some specific stretches and rehab exercises for any persnickety body parts. I’m going to work smart, and work as hard as I need to, but I am not going to run the risk of exhausting myself before my test.
Normally, I go into belt tests reminding myself that ‘chance favours the prepared’ but right now that aphorism is drawing my attending to the gap between my intended preparations and my actual preparations. Focusing on that gap will NOT help so, instead, I have been reminding myself of another saying, ‘fortune favours the bold.’
On Sunday, I am going to show up bold.
In fact, I am determined to boldly go where I have never gone before – into the mental and physical space of being a 4th degree black belt.
So, if you were thinking of wishing me luck for Sunday, please wish me boldness instead.
After all, that’s the best way to get fortune to favour me.