Over the years, I've been through many bags. Some have lasted years, while others maybe lasted a month or two. I carry a lot of stuff to and from class: uniform, training knives, mouthpiece, cup, pens, notebook, nunchaku, and a few other things from time to time. The bag weighs a lot, gets tossed around, shoved into the trunk, etc.
There is one thing that has stayed in my bag since I got it: my white belt.
I've carried it with me all these years for many reasons; some of which have changed over the years. At first, it was largely a pragmatic reason. It was always handy to have an extra belt, and I could bail out a new student who lost or misplaced theirs. Sometimes, new students who hadn't yet invested in a uniform needed a belt for the drills.
It has been a makeshift staff for flow training. Figure eights with a completely flexible object is a challenge.
It's been used for Shuai Chiao style "cracking" training.
It's been used for slip rope training drills.
It will one day be used this way when I get a chance to try:
I could do most of these with my own belt, or heck, even a long stretch of rope. The main reason I keep the belt now is to remind me of where I came from and where I've been. It reminds me of how far I've come and how far I still have to go. It reminds me of our first classes in a dingy racquetball court and the lessons my instructor instilled in me. It reminds me that I have that same obligation to my own students.