Congratulations on your accomplishment! (I thought that black was supposed to make you look slimmer
I want you to know that as a 5. kyu your story really inspires me and reminds me what/where my goals should focus ---> daily practice.
As a young(er) akidoka the progression you and Bülent describe kind of affirms a little thought that I have had a bunch lately: that there will come a time (or multiple times) where I will be challenged or called to decide what I will/not sacrifice in my life. Lately lessons in other areas have been dropped from a busy schedule but when friends and family suggested I cut back on my aikido practice I had to say "whoa!"
Thanks for helping me to see and appreciate that choice.
Have fun, sempai. Arigato