I've been concentrating on preparing for my Kendo 4Dan (4th degree black belt) test for awhile, putting other physical activities aside in the process. From the title of this blog the reader can see that I was not successful. In fact, I wasn't even close. That all 14 testers for this rank failed is little consolation. Granted, I started practicing kendo at the advanced age of 49 so physically I am at a disadvantage, but testing is grouped by age so it's not like I had to fight someone 20 years my junior. I sit here writing and thinking about the test formulating what my plan is going forward. There are 6 senior people sitting on the board and when I say I wasn't even close, I got 0 out of 6 votes (I did pass the Kata). I guess one of the challenges of turning 60 is trying to find a way to continue improving my Kendo so that I can demonstrate what is needed to present at that level. This is age appropriate Kendo, so instead of looking at my age as a detriment I should consider it an advantage; the board members do not expect someone 60 years old to move and look like someone in their twenties or thirties. Although of course disappointed, I need to carefully consider what my failings were and take the next year to attend to these deficiencies. Instead of feeling downtrodden I actually feel reenergized...failure allows one to focus on what is important and strive for success.