8 years, 11 belts and hundreds of classes. I decided to join karate when I was 9 years old but at that age, I never imagined that I would still be doing it today. My defining moment was when I finally earned my black belt. It took years of hard work and practice but it shaped who I am today. In order to get my black belt, I had to do a 15 hour fitness test over 2 days. It pushed everyone to their limits but it also showed me how much I could accomplish if I pushed through the pain and the desire to give up. After passing the fitness test, we had to break through a board representing all of our weaknesses to get our black belt from underneath. Karate has taught me to have a focused and motivated mind-set. When facing a challenge, I have learned to focus on what I need to complete and persevere. I now have a part-time job as a karate coach which has given me many other opportunities to learn and has started to shape who I am as well. Earning my black belt was one of the hardest things I have ever done but also one of the most rewarding.