Before Josh Downs deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, he got each of the kids a really cool gift.
Coley's gift was a membership at Higinbotham Martial Arts, which is just a couple miles from our house and something Cole had been wanting to do for a long time. (The video is pretty cool if you've got an extra few minutes to spare.)
So for almost a year now, he's been going three days a week, with a few small breaks for vacation and basketball season.
And just a couple days ago, he tested for his yellow belt. (I don't know if it's the instructor's requirements or the requirements of Brazilian Jiujtsu, but it takes a long time and a lot of effort to be ready and able to test for your next belt.)
Cole put a ton of work into it though, taking one-on-one lessons in addition to his regular classes in order to prepare for his presentation...
And after the presesntation, he had to wrestle (to submission) every single kid in the class.
I think it ended up being a total of eight or nine matches, with the first one being against the biggest kid in the class...
And even though he took the first match, he was so tired that I wasn't sure how he was going to keep going.
But he did.
And I think he went on to win over half of the matches. (I kind of lost count though because the whole thing was really stressing me out.)
Coley actually prayed that all of the girls in class would be sick that day (because he hates wrestling girls.)
And after about an hour of non-stop wrestling, he got his belt...
And his dad took him out to celebrate over burgers at Jasper's. (Us girls aren't allowed to go to Jasper's - apparently, it's a man thing.)