In any journey the experiences you have and the things you learn are enhanced and completed by the companions you meet along the way.
For the last year I have been on a journey that culminated in testing last week. My instructors have given their time and their skills to train me. My classmates have worked hard to support me. They are my friends and some of them were able to be there with me last week. They offered support, counsel, companionship, and love. They adjusted the their camp activities to help me as I prepared to test. They listened to my thoughts and helped me practice. I could not have asked for any more from any one.
Then on the day of the test, as I stumbled outside to get some water at the only break, they were waiting with bags of ice and containers of water. They held my hand, offered encouragement, packed my gi top with ice bags to cool me, used the minutes available to get me ready to return to the test. I am humbled to be friends with people like this. Apart from their skills and abilities on the mat, they embody what it means to be Aikidoka.