On Saturday the dojo is holding a rank test. The test is intended for the higher ranks but Sensei Dan wants Mikey to test so that he can remove him from his probationary belt to full fledged orange belt. Just talking to him about it made my throat close up with an emotional lump. I tried to say "ok see you then" but I honestly don't know what came out. Hopefully it was unnoticeable as there was much going on around us.
We've been part of this dojo for 2 years now. It's been one of the most rewarding experiences for all of us. And my one sadness over leaving Georgia is greatly tied to the Coal Mountain Karate School and Sensei Dan. I learned a lot about myself in the short time that I practiced there. I learned that I can push through pain, that I'm strong, that sweat is great and that balance can be achieved through hard work, persistance, devotion and effort. These are lessons that I walk away with and carry with me; I can only hope Mikey does the same and I think he will.
On Saturday we'll say our goodbye to Sensei Dan. He leaves for vacation the next day so if we don't say "goodbye and thank you" to him on Saturday afternoon then we won't get the chance to. I just know that I'm going to cry and quite possibly do what Oprah calls "the ugly cry". It's ok, though. It shows that my emotions run deep and it shows that I feel gratitude and sadness, at the same time. WOn't be easy but I'll get through with it.
And... someday I'm going to return to that dojo wearing a black belt. It might be in a different style of Japanese Karate but I will still be accepted. This is my goal. With effort, I go forward. Even if I "ugly cry" along the way.