August 6, 2013

My Black Belt Test

Hello everybody! Today I wanted to share what is potentially the biggest day of my summer with you. I actually tested for my black belt last Saturday. It was a very emotional time for me because I didn't really realize how quickly this summer has flown until Friday afternoon. All the way through the season of working, spending time with friends, and blogging--the black belt test just seemed to be something so far away.

(I have a couple of pictures here on the blog. Sorry about the poor quality--they were taken on my sister's phone and I am too lazy to edit them. The sun coming in through the windows makes the lighting look really funky, but it doesn't bother me enough to fix it.)

Tae kwon do has been a major part of my life for about two-and-a-half years now. It's my primary form of exercise, and I love it because I've made such wonderful friends from the school. Plus, it provides an outlet for stress relief when I needed a break from school. Each school has its own methods and philosophies, but I recommend practicing martial arts to pretty much every teenager I meet. Ever since I started, my sense of self-confidence has really grown stronger, and going to practice tae kwon do has usually been the best part of each day, both during school and in the summer.

The test started with an hour-long meditation. Then, we proceeded to execute all the forms, basic motions, sparring techniques, nun-chuck routines, kicks, board breaking, and exercises. The entire test was approximately four hours long, so I had a bottle of Gatorade in handy since I have low blood sugar and pressure.

Even though I'm still sore while writing this, the whole thing seems surreal, a blur. My black belt is sitting on my counter and it definitely has my Korean name on it, but it's hard to grasp the fact that I earned it. I don't know--I guess I never really saw myself coming this far.

Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to everyone who's supported me through this whole process. I wouldn't have gotten anywhere without my family and friends. Actually, if it weren't for them I'd probably have spent this whole summer wasting away at work in that fast food restaurant. I'm not going to mention any specific people because if they're reading this, they know who they are.

I also want to thank my friends (who sat through the entire four hours!) for not giving me a hard time about me crying at the end of the test. I was physically exhausted and then got really emotional when Master Park asked me to give a speech to my parents since the time left with them is becoming shorter and shorter. I was again reminded how blessed I am to have my parents in my life--I can never fully repay them for all they have done for me.

Finally, I thank you for reading through this entire post! It isn't even close to describing all of the emotions I experienced while receiving my black belt, and it doesn't include all of the details of the test, but this post is just one way for you to get to know me better. I'm not sure if I've mentioned tae kwon do on this blog before or not, but it occupies a precious place in my heart.

That's what I've been up to lately--what have you been doing all summer? Did you spend a lot of time with your friends? Did you travel? Try anything new? What's your best memory? Please share in the comments below!

Coming up on this blog, I'm going to be wrapping up the series Get Ready For College With Me and take a whack at writing a beauty post. My take on beauty focuses a lot more on inner beauty and being healthy, but I do have a couple of tips that are helpful for fellow students out there who don't have a lot of time to devote to pampering their skin and/or hair but still care about such things.

If there's anything else you'd like me to blog about, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at Otherwise, I have a lot of inspirational quotes, thoughts, and pictures in store for you all as well :)

Take care,
-Riley XO


  1. I gave you a little shout out in my last post :) I'm so excited for your next post about inner beauty. It's something I've been struggling with. Congrats on getting your black belt! That's amazing!

  2. Thank you so much, Bailey! I love reading your comments and blog as well :) I'll have something about inner beauty up sometime within the next two weeks. It's been crazy since I have to move out soon, but I will find a way!

  3. Congratulations on getting your black belt! Such an achievement! :)

  4. Congratulations on passing your black belt test! :D, I know it's a really big deal. I used to practice tae kwondo but it didn't last long. Just saying it's awesome to be a black belt, really cool! :D


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