That's one gold in sparring, and one bronze in kata. And a million-dollar smile.

When the worst thing you can say about a tournament is that the first stretch of the road trip was miserable due to inclement weather, you know you're having the right kind of problem.

Today we were in Burlington for the first ever Impact Nationals, and we did pretty well. Me half-way by default (I had no opponents in my fighting division and therefore won a "free" gold; but I did have to compete for my gold in kata so there's that), but Catherine earned her bling.

There were 15 kids in her kata division (9-10 advanced, boys and girls together), and she came third - and the only girl to medal. Then she was off to fight (9-10 advanced, girls only). There were five girls in her division and she got a by then had to fight one girl against whom she won fairly easily then had to fight again for gold - this time her opponent was much more of a challenge. Catherine won the fight 1-0 with only 5 seconds to spare - it was an excellent fight in which two smart girls of reasonably equal calibre patiently and purposefully worked to create openings while avoiding getting hit.

Many thanks to Master John Douvris for all the training and coaching. It's starting to pay off. Now if we could only deal with those freak snow storms...