The test to see how fit you are is not how fast you can run or how many pushups you can do or how fast you can do 30 burpees. It's how long it takes you to recover. The shorter the time it takes you to get back to abnormal after pushing yourself very hard, the more fit you are.

I'm about to test my fitness.

I just finished a difficult two-hour test for my third-degree black belt (I passed, yay me), two hours after doing a 45-minute cardio kickboxing class. Now I want to go do another difficult 90-minute black belt pretest with the brown belts going for black and the black belts going for second-degree.

I'm drinking water and downing some protein, doing a quick wash of the gi and (yet another) quick shower and back to the dojo I go. I'm reasonably sure I can get through another 90 minutes, but what I don't know is how strong I can make this look. This will be my test. I'll let you know as soon as I've recovered... 👍

Post-two-litres-of-water-update: Well, then, I am indeed quite fit. And it is a tribute to the men who train me (remember #TrainedByASpartan? Yeah. Those guys). I'm not saying I wasn't feeling my day when the last 90 minutes of pretest started. My legs were heavy and not particularly energetic. And I confess that I was starting to sag a little bit near the end. But I made it through no problem, and what's more, I think I managed to look not much different than I normally do on those workouts - the ones I do without doing another two-hour grading just before, I mean. It just goes to show how much more work there is in you when you think you're dead. That's why I always encourage people to push themselves a little bit past their limits. To keep trying even when they don't feel like it anymore. Because every time you do that - even if it's just for another 2 or 3 minutes - you make yourself better. And if you keep pushing yourself more or less every time you train, before long you'll be in great shape.

Now I must make sure to hydrate well and sleep a full night. I will let myself have a great dessert treat: homemade chocolate pudding (throw heavy cream in a bowl, add a little bit of maple syrup, then throw in cocoa powder and mix until you reach the consistency of ganache then just eat it with a spoon - it's food from heaven, I tell ya) and tomorrow morning it's another jog followed by intense two-hour training session. That, too, will be a test. In a good way (see "pushing yourself", above).