My Karate Journey
By Georgia MacMillan
My karate journey started in second grade. I distinctly remember my mom telling me if I wanted to stop doing swim lessons every other day I had to find another high activity sport. I spent time thinking about it. I was going through all the sports I knew of and then it hit me, karate. At first, before my trial lesson I thought it would be a good way to take out my frustrations about school. But soon after my first month of class and my first promotion I realized that is not what karate is about. I realized that it was a good way to let everything out in intensity and loud kies. But it is also about being able to protect yourself and be a good person. It is also about discipline. When I joined the advanced classes I saw all the people with cool brown and black belts do cool expert level moves and I knew I would work my butt off to get there. As I advanced the material became harder but more fun at the same time because it was a new challenge to overcome, a new mountain to climb and conquer. As well as karate becoming more fun, I also made friends and formed strong relationships with the younger kids who like doing tricks with me. When the spring candidates of 2023 were in bootcamp I was talking to them in class and I knew it would be one of the hardest things I ever have done by now. I was working my butt off trying to relearn all of my forms and combinations before pretests. When the day came I felt nervous but ready. And one hour later I had gotten a 92 out of 100 on my pretest and I was overjoyed. On the first day of boot camp I was soooooo nervous I didn't eat breakfast. The run was incredibly hard. Especially when I was called to the front. It felt like I was being crushed by all the pressure I was under to do good and not fail. The first day of bootcamp after the run hit me so hard. Two hours after I got home I passed out on the couch. But because of that I felt better prepared for the second and third weeks of boot camp. For me each week of boot camp gets easier but also harder. On one side the runs become easier but also harder because we're going farther. Boot camp after the run is honestly fun when we're doing normal karate stuff like combos and forms. My favorite part is definitely getting to make a fight skit with Myra and Kagan. We have worked so hard on it. One of the many things I remember from boot camp is the talk saying that we all have dragons to slay. For me that has to be the run. I have never enjoyed running at all. And then put me in a group of 16 people and being pressured was really hard. But there were a few things carrying me through the run. Those were repeating songs from my playlist in my head, giving myself pep talks in my head, imagining movie ideas and, of course, the encouraging words from the rest of the candidates. Overall I think bootcamp has been a really good experience for me. Bootcamp has helped me realize that there are some things I really struggle with but I also discovered new strengths like fight skits which I really enjoy. Finally I'm really looking forward to the new challenges that come with entering the teen and adult classes after boot camp ends and I earn my blackbelt.