Sunday, May 09, 2010

Being afraid of jiu jitsu...

Sorry for the dearth in posting lately, folks. Being sick sucks, but I'm feeling better and back in the saddle again -- just in time to start training for Mundials. Bought plane tickets for me and my husband, so we're leaving on June 2 and return the 8th.

But fear of competition is not what I was talking about when I said "being afraid of jiu jitsu." The funny thing about a big important tournament like the Pan is I feel like it ended my fear of competition. That's probably a little optimistic; I am at least fearless about competing at Mundials this year, because I am back to whitebelt in my mind-- I have no fear because I'm putting no pressure on myself, have no expectations of doing well-- and that's okay.

No, I mean the fear I felt going back to class yesterday. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the condition of my classmates, but more so, I was afraid that I wouldn't want to keep training. I know. WTF!

Granted, I was sick, but I got so comfortable on my couch and in my routine that I actually found myself dragging my feet to get dressed and leave for class yesterday! That's no good. I've been turning this over in my mind ever since, trying to take it apart and understand it.

I was comfortable with the little June Cleaver routine I had going on... with my husband being laid off, we were both home together for a solid week. Granted, he was busy with projects around the house (like trying to find the leak in the water line running about 4' underground in my flowerbed) and his own jiu jitsu classes, but we spent a fair amount of time together, and I made breakfast, lunch and dinner several days in a row. That had its own piquant charm.

I was comfortable not doing a load of laundry every night. Didn't have stinky workout clothing, gi, etc. to get clean.

I was comfortable being healthy... wait, no, that's not right.. I was comfortable being physically in one piece, no tweaks, no limited range of motion, etc. But still a snottyhead :(

I was comfortable being lazy! I read books, watched movies, watched TV on Hulu. I lolled. I made DVDs for my friend Peter. I mailed gis to the school in Utah (see my prior blog post on the topic.) I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to do, and as a result, I even did some work from home. Just because I could.

Anyway, I was mildly concerned because I could see what would happen if I took serious time off-- I could maybe develop a whole life outside of, and not including, the jits. It was depressing. How do my friends, who've had to take 6 months off for sundered ACLs, manage to get back? How will I, someday, have a child and come back?

Fortunately, all my worries were whittled away. Saturday class is traditionally pretty stout in terms of conditioning because the blackbelt who teaches that day is old-man strong. Giberson's also a judo black belt and former head wrestling coach for a Texas university, and he's not really old, maybe 50? but he has that resilience and stamina you just don't expect to see in someone twice the age of your average jits fighter. But I kept up and didn't feel like strength, flexibility, or cardio had left the building. I held my own in positional sparring too, had some good offensive guard work. Got a massive stinger running down both arms, took a header into the mat from someone's back (DAMMIT I hate that! I'm not sure whether it's my fault or his... but I think it's just RUDE to do a fast forward roll when your training partner has your back! your feet get stuck because you have hooks in, your arms are all tangled up around their neck with them grabbing on tight, and there's no where to go! I literally saw stars! Not rolling with him again.)

Sorry, sidetracked.

Anyway, the point is, I was off the horse, and I got back on. I'm a little nervous because I ate like a horse while I was sick-- not so much the quantity, but the calorie-denseness of what I did eat. I felt sorry for myself so it was like a free pass to eat whatever I wanted. Um, Belgian waffles. Honey bran muffin. Sausage. Pancakes. Flatbread. Chicken salad. Not all together, but now, they're all together, on my derriere. And they need to leave by June 2. That's about 12 lbs to lose. Sigh.

Class in an hour, so I better get going.


Dev said...

I am so happy you're intending to compete at Worlds! Hope you're feeling better!

JMAW said...

that fear you describe is interesting. i competed at Pan-Ams this year, my first big tournament, and felt so alive. i literally was not nervous because i spent alot of time and energy visualizing and focusing my mind. i lost but even then i felt alive because i had confronted the fear of competing on a big scale and let it all out.

coming back home though, i started to feel this fear to compete locally. i switched schools awhile ago and have not competed since the switch. the BJJ politics runs deep and i have this fear of potential backlash. i realize this is in my head and something to work past. i am also happy of my decision to switch schools because my game has grown and i am a better person.

but this fear is such a curious thing.

great blog!

Laura said...

This is what I am afraid of (3-5 more weeks of sitting).

Please post how is goes.

Georgette said...

@Dev-- you know it! I just gotta make weight ;)

@JMAW-- heh, I'm the opposite. Having done a big tournament like the Pan (importance-wise, not size-wise, since NAGA is bigger are far more chaotic and tiring on a per-day basis) I am now much more relaxed about "little" ones like local and regional ones. It helps that I am friends with the majority of the people I'll compete against locally, too. That sounded weird- I mean, I am friends with everyone I know locally.. just haven't met everyone yet :) Thanks for the compliment; your blog is cool too. Write more frequently!

@Laura: will do. Hope your toe's healing...

A.D. McClish said...

Glad you're feeling better. Wish I had your same fearlessness about competition. I like what you said about being like a white belt again with no expectations. I need to have that same mind set.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Haha I love your posts G!

This is great. You embraced life outside the mat! Welcome to my world :)

I love BJJ. I love training. But I also love reading (both about BJJ and other things). I love spending time with my family...actually, I like it, let's leave it at that! I love staying at home with Sharon and cooking and Family Guy Marathons and tons of other things and since we have a limited supply of time, these interests have to rotate.

As for the misconception of "leaving" or "returning" to BJJ: BJJ is the art of movement and as long as you still butterfly sweep to get the covers off you in the morning, you're still in the game :)

Georgette said...

There's a similar post over on another blog you should check out...


The Part Time Grappler said...

Thanks for that one G! It just inspired a blog post :)

Jason ( said...

I know the feeling. To get that momentum back can be so hard. When you get there its all worth it but its the getting there that sucks. I think it is even harder when you have the choice. If you are injured and it isn't really your choice you really long to be back at it.

Megan said...

I took a break between undergrad and grad school and I can honestly say I was a different person when I started, and it was a good idea.

I've always been a fan of breaks. Well...controlled breaks. They're risky, because yeah, doing nothing is great, but it also gives you that oh-so-necessary perspective.

Megan said...

Ohoh...and on feeling like a whitebelt again. You've given me a new appreciation of my little belt:)