When Colin first joined Karate in the fall of 2015, our goal was to find another outlet that he would enjoy but also work on essential skills like direction following, discipline, confidence and respect. When he first started, he was receiving private instruction so that he could learn the basic skills and is where he received his first belt promotion from white to half yellow. Eventually, he was able to progress into the group classes and last July in his first group testing, was promoted to full yellow belt. Since last July, Colin has made progress but had a few little hiccups along the way, particularly when he was transitioning back to school this fall. Instead of being ready to test for his half orange belt sometime in the fall, we ended up needing to give him more time to iron out the hiccups and continue to work on skills needed to test for the next promotion. Colin was ready on Saturday to test for his half orange belt and we had discussed that I would have to wait outside while he was performing his test (parents typically wait outside). However, when the introductions for the test began, he ran out of the room and started to cry and kept saying he was "scared". After talking with me and encouragement from two of his instructors, we finally got him back into the room (and I was allowed to stay during the test). In a display of readiness, he wiped away the tears, turned to me and said "I do it Mom" and ran into his room.
I am so proud to say that in the end, he tested very well and was promoted to half orange belt. There is a little ceremony after the testing where the students receive their next belt and I was surprised to find out that Colin also received an extra honor; a trophy that says "100%" for continuing to work through all of his hiccups and despite the length of time it took him to get where he was going. As tears were streaming down my face, I turned to Colin with a big smile and a thumbs up and he looked at me so confidently and proudly, and with a very serious look on his face that read something like "I got this mom!".
In a follow up email to the test congratulating Colin on his efforts, the owner of the school said this quote, "the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step" and it couldn't be more true for Chris and I and how we see Colin and his progress through life. It doesn't matter how long it takes him to make progress, as long as he keeps moving forward one step at a time, we will always be proud.
Chris and I are also so incredibly thankful to the staff at Paul Prendergast Karate for all they have done for Colin along this journey the past year and a half. They have supported him, made accommodations when necessary, pushed and challenged and are always ready to find ways to help Colin be successful. For that we are so grateful...
Saturday's ceremony will be one of those that will always stand out for me. I am so proud of Colin for continuing to work hard and show us just what he is capable of!