Tonight, something very important happened in karate class.
One week into lessons, they stopped treating me with kid gloves and started treating me like a real martial arts student.
In other words, they (and by "they," I mean the black belt instructors) stopped holding back when demonstrating the different punches and kicks for me (and by "for me," I mean "ON me").
I came home with a huge bruised welt on my right shin and bruises on the undersides of both arms. And I couldn't be more proud.
Oh: and Sensai told me tonight that she wants me to test for my first promotion at the end of September (this would be a stripe on my white belt; a promotion to a new belt color would come next). Testing/promotions are held 3 times a year (every four months). Normally, you study for the entire 4 months before you attempt your first promotion--but since I came in about two months into a "testing cycle," I'd have to wait until the next promotion in JANUARY if I don't make the upcoming September one. Sensai thinks I can pull it off, with enough practice. I'm much (much, much, much) less confident, but I told her I'd give it a shot. If I succeed, it will be a HUGE point of pride for me (earning my stripe after 2 months instead of 4--how awesome would that be??)--and if I don't, it will make me that much more ready when I test in January.
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to limp off to the shower.