Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Usually jiu jitsu is so all-consuming that when I do it, I don't think of anything else.  I can't keep a good song in my head, can't hear music that's playing, don't stress about work or anything else in my life-- all I see, hear, smell, feel, think is posture, pressure, position.

In fact, it's such a good painkiller, muscle relaxant, and all around nerve-tonic that I can escape into jiu jitsu the same way I would dive into a good novel.

But on a rare occasion, something external will bug me to such an extent that it comes with me onto the mats, and then I am torn.  Should I not train, so that I don't poison the experience? don't punish training partners by being a less-than-fully-present opponent ?  Or would not training make it worse?

Well, I went to lunch class today and it was miserable in a cyclic fashion.  I started out miserable for external reasons, then grappled like flattened dogsh*t, which made me more miserable, and then I added on some self-loathing for allowing XYZ to affect my grappling and felt even worse.  I kept trying to tell myself that it was okay to have a shitty jits day and it was just my turn and that I had brought it on myself for blogging the other day about bringing it to two friends of mine.

You ever hear of someone throwing up into their mouth?  (NOOOOO I DIDN'T!)   Well, I cried into my eyes.  I was so flooded with emotions, mainly related to my external issues but some from crappling, that I had several moments of crying while rolling/drilling where (fortunately) the tears did not spill over.. where they just rose to the surface and hung out until they were reabsorbed or evaporated.

I just couldn't do anything right, I was feeling sorry for myself, and I accidentally kneed a friend in the eye trying to control him from top cross-side.  I spent the rest of class being sorry for myself, then rolled for 15 min with a friend from out of town who nicely made me feel like a complete noob.

So, heeding the advice of many wiser than me, I hied myself out the back door and up a small hill, sat down and just wept.  Opened the faucets in my eyes and cried into my eyes and out of them again, making a wet place on the sidewalk stoop.  Got it out of my system for about 10 minutes and came inside, sorted myself out, showered, and left.

At least night class was better.

EDIT:  My good friend Josh recommended this video to me in his comment.  I dig it.


Zen Mojo said...

...don't know what is going on in your life to have you so upset, but sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

Josh Artigue said...

Steve Spencer said...

I am frightened how closely many aspects of this post mirror my own position this week. I had been having a crappy couple of weeks... just felt down in the dumps (unrelated to training.)

As I was getting ready to head to training, I was telling someone how I use training just like reading a book before bed... to clear my head.

But it didn't work this week. It was like my bad mojo had become the beets on the plate of thanksgiving food that bleed into everything else. Pretty soon my whole plate, and my training experience were colored with the bad mojo.

I walked away feeling like "I should be better than this. Why can't I just listen?? What do I do such stupid stuff." It was scary how much it really affected me. All of a sudden I felt like a bad parent, a bad husband, and bad employee, and a bad Jiu Jitsu student.

I don't know for sure what the solution is. Maybe we just gotta eat the food that is now beet colored. But once the beets are gone, be careful not to put any on the next plate.