Hard work and determination. Also a healthy dose of panic.
Our five girls put in a fantastic performance at the INTA black belt grading in Thurles on Saturday. As nerve-wracking as I'm sure it was for them, for me it was tremendously exciting watching them cut through the pre-exam tension and get down to business with full power and focus.
Lingering self-doubts disappeared in an instant and a persistent work ethic resulted in one of the strongest performances on the day.
The black belt may only be the start of a martial arts journey, but it is also a recognition of the perseverance and hard graft put in by each student over the last four years.
Myself and the whole club are extremly proud of our new Dan grades, so obviously they'll have to work a lot harder now to live up to the image. Ha! tough luck girls, and you thought you'd be coasting from here :)