Today was a good day. Eldest, Middle Daughter and I competed in Battle Zone 2016, the tournament our dojo organizes every year. It was well attended, which meant we had pretty tough divisions to compete in.
Eldest did very well in kata and got second. She fought well but did not place in sparring. Middle Daughter, who's just starting the competitive thing, did an excellent kata and fought as well as I'd ever seen her fight, but did not place in either discipline. She found this hard to take and had to fight back tears, but in the end I think she learned a great lesson about hard work, courage, and sportsmanship. I'd say that was time and money well spent.
I am exceedingly proud of both girls and told them so abundantly.
Me? I did decent, too. I got silver in kata and gold in sparring. That wasn't easy; I started fighting a very strong opponent - a woman who's not only excellent but roughly nine feet tall. She's not easy to hit. She took the lead and got all the way to 6-2 but I managed to win that one 10-7, so yeah, that felt alright. Then I had to fight my friend and teammate and it's always bittersweet to win those (fortunately it was a narrow win so we all get to feel a tiny bit better about that). Anyway, despite my bout of anxiety on Thursday, I did well. I even qualified for the Grand Championship (where the gold medalists from each division fight each other). I was in a group with women 20 years younger than me and, well, let's just say I lost very convincingly. But hey, I'd never qualified for Grands before, I was dashed if I wasn't going to give it a shot. At least I provided some comic relief, so there is that. (We took some video and they'll be part of the mini-documentary about my journey to Dublin.)
But you know what's even better than me doing well?
Two of our karate mamas, who are pretty new at competition, dared to step into the ring today. And they both did supremely well. It's such a privilege to help someone develop skills and then see them compete and win. And this really is what I want to do with my newest project. To help you conquer your fears and push yourself past your limits - no matter what your limits are, just to push a little bit past them. Because that's the only way we can get better at whatever it is we've chosen to devote our time on Spaceship Earth to.