By Eisabeth Clay
Well, this is a hard one for me; it is so new. There have been so many emotions and even weeks after getting it, I just don’t think it has fully set in yet that I even have my black belt. When I go to line up at the front of the class with the other black belts, it is so weird still, and in my head I naturally think to line up with the colored belts. It has taken me 8 1/2 years to get here, which might not seem like a lot, but it took most of my youth to get here, and strong voices near me telling me it would be an even longer time. I am so elated to have been awarded the honor and faith in me that I am worthy of THIS belt.
Looking Back on My Career
The beginning of my Jiu Jitsu career was plague with so many head trips and haters that this belt just seems surreal. I wanted to achieve so much that I skipped the mall with friends, not going out like most, not going to prom because I had a super fight instead (I would do it all again and more). Throughout all of this I heard a lot (especially from ages 12-16) that I trained too much and would burn out, that I would never reach black belt before 25. I wasn’t good enough to reach that at that age. I had a lot of haters and people saying I couldn’t do a lot of things. But this BLACK BELT was a big one they said I would not be ready for for a very very long time. This is a goal I have had since I was 12 years old. And while other goals I have had since this age, and I have done some of them, a lot of them have to do with matches or tournaments and smaller things. Well, there are always more fights; you only get black belt once and so it feels very different. It is amazing and I get super giddy and excited whenever I think about having gotten the black belt.
I never had a ton of belts when I was in the colored belts, I had one max two of each, and only had two when the original one was too worn out to compete in. I’ve been a black belt for three weeks and I already have three belts (and another on the way), I don’t know why its so different. Maybe because I know I will have this one for a LONG time. Maybe because it is just that exciting.
Getting My Black Belt
When I got my name called for my black belt, I thought I would cry, but I didn’t (at least not then, I did about 12 hours later). I just wanted to jump up and down and do a happy dance like a little kid (and I did). And even when I look at my belt or think about it sometimes, I still do. A black belt is something I knew I could achieve, but at the same time I think a part of me thought I wouldn’t because it had been the big goal for so long. I am grateful to have had voices like my mom telling me to push ahead and, if I wanted it, to go for it because the “it” was achievable. No matter what negativity some said, she said ignore and follow my dreams. I am here to tell you all the same. Set your goals and work had for them. Do not let unimportant things slow you from your dreams. It is all there for you. Just go for it!
I am sure in a few weeks I will have even more to say about this, but the best way I can describe getting my black belt is it’s surreal. I can just hope that you guys reading this can get the same feelings. It has been one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had. I hope those who desire this will too stay the course, work hard, and dedicate yourself to learning. Do not let your own or others’ negativity be so loud that you let you desire go. It is a worthy and incredible goal. Thank you so much to my supporters from my blood family to my jits family and to all the amazing people in my life. You know who you are.