#naphopomo 2013, day 9: black. belt.

  Alex and her instructor, Mr. Garcia.  She admires this man beyond description.

Alex and her instructor, Mr. Garcia.  She admires this man beyond description.

Today, after 3 years of pretty intense training, my 9-year-old daughter Alex earned her black belt in karate. 

Alex loves karate -- in fact, in today's black belt test, she had to give a little speech, the first belt test which required it.  She talked about what karate has meant to her.  She said that it has given her courage.  Which is true. 

But what I love about karate is how it has impacted her own body image.  More than anything, Alex loves how strong her body is.   (It's also crazy flexible).  I love that she takes pride in the fact that she can beat all the boys in her class in arm wrestling.  I love that she's proud of how high she can kick.  I love the determination on her face as she spars or does her katas.  I love that she's a force.

I'm so proud of her. 

Here are some more shots from the test.  Since she's achieved her black belt, she doesn't have to go back to practice for 2 weeks.  She's totally earned the time off, man. 

  Doing her routine with her  eskrimas .  

Doing her routine with her eskrimas.  

  Breaking a board with her bare hand.  She learned how to this several belt tests ago, and it still blows my mind every time she does it.

Breaking a board with her bare hand.  She learned how to this several belt tests ago, and it still blows my mind every time she does it.

  Sparring with Mr. Garcia.  She landed a few impressive ones! 

Sparring with Mr. Garcia.  She landed a few impressive ones! 

  Giving me her best Bruce Lee in her brand new black belt.

Giving me her best Bruce Lee in her brand new black belt.


update, november 10, 2013

So here's something kind of cool:   

Yesterday, I posted an image on Instagram of Alex practicing for her black belt test in our kitchen.  When I did, I tweeted Paige McPherson, the bronze medalist in taekwondo in the 2012 Olympics.  Alex LOVES Paige, especially because she shares a similar story to Al:  biracial, adoption, a passion for both karate & ballet.  She even looks like her.  In fact, Alex was the one who asked me to tweet her.

Well, my friends, Paige favourited my tweet, retweeted my tweet, and responded back with a quick tweet of her own. 

And Alex's year is officially made. 


 This photograph was taken as part of #NaPhoPoMo (National Photo Posting Month) -- a shot a day for the month of November.   You should join me:  it's a lesson in stopping and looking, improving your photography skills, and appreciating the beauty and light around you. 

Click here to see who's participating (and sign up your own blog, if you'd like!).  And if you tag your photos with #NaPhoPoMo on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, your image will automatically be seen here.  I hope you join in the fun - and I can't wait to see what you capture.