A bitter tea
Before me is a black belt that years ago was a white belt standing before me, then a senior brown belt. Exercises in humility do not come cheap. He is now going to tell me all the things that I do wrong, he is going to school me in the ways of Goju, alert to any doubt in my eyes as to his evident superiority.
A bitter tea indeed. But that wasn't the half of it. My knees and elbows buckled during the infamous 10-step push up. My legs became rubbery at the fiftieth count of a mae geri drill. I snuck a peek at myself in the faraway mirror and what a sorry sight my eyes beheld. But paraphrasing an old tune: pain is just another word for nothing left to lose. And of this bitter tea I sipped.
More than relearning katas, I had to relearn spirit. Letting go of who I was once but was no longer and finding who I was now and living with it, through it, around it.