On Friday Roscoe passed a major benchmark in his process to become a karate black belt. He ran two miles, did 50 pushups, 100 situps, and 8 pull-ups. (At this point, Mom ran to the grocery store next-door for Gatorade.) Then he took a written exam before demonstrating 6 forms and several defense techniques. It all took about three hours. Roscoe now has a black/brown belt. Here is an excerpt from the essay he was required to write prior to Friday's test:
"In elementary school every morning we were required to run/walk a mile. To run a mile we would need to around around the field 4 times. Usually I would run for a bit, and when I started to feel tired I would stop. When I stopped I would have done about one 8th (halfway around the field) of the mile. I had a friend Kyle who was a very good runner and he encouraged me to keep running even if I was tired. I tried, and when I started to feel tired I would keep on running. I realized that the next most important thing to running (after strong legs) was a strong mind. You can force yourself to run and it's not that hard. Soon after, I could run one quarter of a mile without stopping to walk. After that it got easier and easier to do. I was about 12 then and I am 14 now. Now I can run a mile without walking once, because I pushed my self.
About 6 months ago for a church activity me and my friends were going to try and run 3 miles in under 30 minutes. We went to the Jordan River and started running. We reached the half point (1 1/2 miles) without walking once. We took a break to walk there for about one minute and then ran the rest of the way. I did not walk until I finished. We did it in 28 minutes. I’m not saying it was easy, because it was not. It was hard, and there were times when I wanted to stop but I forced myself to keep ruining.
Karate has helped me a lot to keep going. When I was tired and stopped doing pushups you would tell me to keep at it. You would have us do horse stances and hot coals for long periods of time and we would get tired but force ourselves to keep on going. To have a strong body you need a strong mind. You can only go somewhere if you make yourself do it. You can only make it if you really want to."