I went through all my gumbup this morning. I discovered:
A) I still remember them all (this has not been obvious in class)
B) They are still awesome (even if I have a long way to go on them.
More to the point, I’m back in the saddle. Will I be a badass by next week? Nope. But I’m pointed that direction once again.
So this training in my sleep thing seems to be working.
I always wear my yellow belt when training on my own. Today, I paused briefly to wonder why. All of my belts hang out in the same area, so it’s not like I’ve lost track of the others. I’m not a yellow belt any longer; if I wanted to wear rank, I’d wear brown. If I wanted to be humble, I’d wear white. If I wanted to wear the coolest belt, I’d wear blue, as that’s the point where I skipped rank and learned the form where the first glimmer of Haidong’s fluidity bursts open and drowns you in awesome.
But I wear yellow. Why is that?
I think it’s because Form 1 was the first time I trained something into my bones. Because yellow was the first test I fought for instead of just rushing for, as with orange, or stumbling toward as I did with brown. Oh, I’ve put in time, effort and pain for every belt. But there’s a certain mindset, a certain striving and desire that actually propels me forward on my martial arts journey, and Yellow was where I hit that stride. Yellow was the first belt I earned not as a dude chillin’ with friends, but as a martial artist.
Not as a good martial artist, but as a martial artist nonetheless.