In amongst all of the craziness of the holiday season and of coping with a new baby around the house, I did manage to "walk the stage" and earn my third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
December 1 was the big day. We showed up early at Huron High School, where we always have the graduation show, the "Black Belt Spectacular". We rehearsed the show once on stage, and then the big show was upon us. It's always a blur, but the moment that one of the instructors ties on your new belt inevitably sears itself onto your brain. It's a wonderful feeling of achievement, surrounded by the people with whom you've trained for three or seven or ten years.
And then it's over. Come Monday I was back in my regular classes. The only thing that had really changed was that I had one more stripe on my belt.
It's a lot like setting up a website. No, bear with me here...
And then the next day you have to go right back to working on it -- perhaps at a lower intensity level -- but if you don't keep that content updated, then none of your visitors has any reason to come back.
Of course, a lot of people choose to let the site go. After all, it will look good for many months and even years to come. Just like the Black Belt recipient who never trains again, however, the site will begin to lose its edge.
Thanks to my good friends Kimber Householder and Norm Roller for the photos from the day.
So, when was the last time you "finished" your training and let things ride? What happened then?