Friday, July 17, 2009

KRISTA is the new black!

I had half a mind to do it, and so I did it -- I earned my black belt in karate! Proof positive that I am alive AND kicking!

On a sad note, I learned a while ago that I would earn a black belt by hook or by crook when a boy in my son's karate class died in a drowning accident. Our sensei came to his funeral early and presented his parents with a black belt. It was a thoughtful gesture, as this child had been such a karate enthusiast, but I was haunted by the realization that I could very well be the recipient of a similar kindness.

Fortunately -- and thanks again to the many prayers that continue on my behalf -- I survived long enough to earn my belt the traditional way. The culmination of my efforts over the past couple of years took place in a three-hour test. In the middle of July in Texas. In full black uniform. In a room filled with other students. Part of the test was held outside. It wasn't cool -- but it was awesome!

It's the ultimate neuro test. Master Richard Black has outdone all of my doctors in challenging my mental and physical capabilities. In order to reach this level I needed to recall all of the material that I had ever learned. Memory, reflexes, balance, motor skills, and neuromuscular strength were definitely confirmed as functional.

I had my husband with me to (literally) lean on for support. He was there, earning his brown belt at the same time. As we like to say, "The family that kicks together, sticks together!"

It's all up from here. I'm "only" a first-degree black belt, so the journey can continue as long as I want it to. I hope life's journey can be that way, too.

I already have another big test scheduled later this month. This one won't be in the dojo, but the MRI tube, followed by less grueling neuro tests (walking a straight line, counting backward, tapping and rolling my fingers, drawing a clock, etc.) I'll be sure to bring Dr. Fink a copy of my black belt certificate for inclusion in my chart.

Meanwhile, the Simple Minds song is going through (what's left of) my simple mind:

What you gonna do when things go wrong?

What you gonna do when it all cracks up?

What you gonna do when the love burns down?

What you gonna do when the flames go up?

Who is gonna come and turn the tide?

What's it gonna take to make a dream survive?

Who's got the touch to calm the storm inside?

Who's gonna save you?

Alive and kicking

Stay until your love is alive and kicking...


Deena said...

That is SO COOL! Congratulations!!!!!!!s

Real said...


Elneeta said...

Krista- What an amazing example you are of EFFORT and CHARACTER. I know first hand that testing can be incredibly difficult and as a more recent follower of your blog (maybe 6-10 months or so) I am glad to see you reach this milestone in your training. You have reached a new beginning, as you work through your new material you will have those days where you feel like a white belt again- we have all been there. Stick with it and have fun with these awesome new challenges. Thank you for being an inspiration to those around you - and those of us far away!

Sensei Elneeta
USSD Tempe, AZ

Krista said...

That is an amazing accomplishment--congratulations!