Much to my surprise, I won a trophy at the USSD tournament! I took 2nd place in Sr Women's Sparring, Purple Belt division.
I am pretty resigned that I'm never going to be a star student in karate - my mobility problems, my age, my lack of speed and general klutziness mean I'll always be sort of a plodder, and I measure excellence personally, not against others.
However, I got a little lucky at this tournament, and won an early match in my sparring division, and ended up with a pretty easy path into the finals. (Matchups are not exactly random, they try to pair you up by size in the early rounds.) Then, somehow all the work and drills and practice I've been doing has finally sank in, and I remembered to move my feet like my sensei always tells me (and tells me, and tells me, and tells me ...) I fnally lost the final match to a quick little thing, since I was tiring by the end of the rounds by now, and took second.
2nd place, how about that. It's a pretty damn cool trophy too :)