Most days…

Most days, I leave class and tell myself, It’s okay; you don’t have to go back. We’ll find something else to do. And I wrestle with that decision the whole way home, through dinner and showering, through writing posts, and until I fall asleep. Usually by the morning I’ve forgotten, and I pack my bag again and head off to work and then to class, not thinking about it again until some time during class when I’m crushed under side control or mount or dragged or flipped into someone’s back mount and my defense is getting blasted through and my brain starts screaming What is wrong with you? Why do you do this to yourself every night? You’re crazy! Add in incompetence, weakness, and mistakes on my part, and I’m almost in tears by the end of class. Time in the dressing room to recollect myself a little. Lately I’ve been leaving after class instead of staying around for after-class conditioning or eating because I have such a tenuous hold on my emotions.

Often it’s only a combination of a faulty short-term memory and a stubborn streak a mile wide that gets me back in there.

I just want to get better at jiu-jitsu. I want to be competent out on the mats. And I feel as if I’m not. And I feel as if I won’t. That this beginner, white belt, sloppy & floppy level and I will be forever friends, that I’m stuck in some low-level jiu-jitsu existence where no one will just be straight and tell me that some people just aren’t made for jiu-jitsu and that maybe I’m one of them. I’m frustrated with myself: I give me lots of mat time, lots of jiu-jitsu internet and book time, lots of brain time, and nothing seems to improve. If anything, it seems to get worse.

Don’t mind me. I’ll have forgotten about it by the morning.

Before class, Clifton was trying to remember the stuff that Renzo showed on Saturday to show Justin. I got dragged in to help jog his memory. Then Justin and Clifton started rolling. Nick started talking about rolling, so I dragged him in to the ring, too, and we played around before class. We were still rolling when Justin hollered for everyone to find a partner. We slid out of the ring and finished the round on the mat. (One of the big smashy guys tried to slide in and roll with me; I said Nick and I were still in the middle of a round.) At least I got to warm up without having to be on the alert for someone trying to hurt me.

Rolled with a white belt next. Spent the round defending under side control and mount. And having my head sat on.

On to drilling. First we just worked the double-under pass from last night again. Then Justin showed the wrestler’s cradle escape, for once the guy has passed to side control.

Drilled with a qhite belt. Then rolling with him. He started off with the “wrestler head squeeze,” which was the first technique Renzo taught a counter to at Karate College. Got the position, though had to work to keep him from rolling (so anyone else would’ve been out); had some trouble setting up the armbar but I think I finally got it. (He said last night, when he tapped because he couldn’t escape, that he’d rather tap when he can’t get out or if he thinks fighting to get out will get him hurt — which is exactly as he ought to do… only I’m now left with the feeling that he’s not tapping because I have it right. *sigh*) Mostly held down the rest of the round. Did have one sweep to mount, though I don’t remember what, but was swept right back over.

Last round with another white belt. Under side control. Did manage to snag a half guard when he tried to jump to guard, but that was the extent of anything. He was trying to catch a D’Arce, I think — hand placement seemed right — but it came out more as a neck crank, and it hurt. He also sat on my head a lot.

Tomorrow is Nick’s last day for a while. He graduated, but hasn’t found a job down here yet and his parents won’t keep paying his rent. So he has to go home on Thursday until he either gets a job here or gets in to grad school at Tech. Here’s hoping he’s not gone long.

We did get a little more information about Adam’s fight. Apparently the other guy was a nervous wreck. He’s also been on the card at Adam’s last two fights, especially the last one where Adam fought a guy who weighed in at 170 lbs (and weighed a lot more come fight time). So he called the promoters on Friday, right before Adam and Justin were to head over to the sauna, and said he was backing out.

Some of us are definitely going down to the NAGA NC on July 11th. (I still need to register. Slacker.) I’m not sure yet who’s going up to Richmond for the Submission Only, though.

Work-Related Stories

Warning: LOLcat links ahead

Technical Support

I left last night during a conference call that three of the guys were having. This morning I get to hear the details. They were working out final details for a website that was set to go live last night, and they had the previous hosting company and the new hosting company on two difference phones. The new company was basically making stuff up about why they couldn’t do certain things. The customer service lady at the previous company was interrupting and yelling at my coworkers before they could get a word in. They had to ask her several times to not interrupt them so they could tell her what they needed help with.

They were assuming she’d had a bad day and were trying to be polite. She put them on hold for some reason, except she forgot to mute her microphone or something because they could hear every word she said. And she apparently turned to the lady next to her and had a normal-voice, non-ticked-off conversation about her sister’s wedding. When she came back on the line, she switched back to evil you’re-ruining-my-life lady.


5 thoughts on “Most days…

  1. Hey, I just found your blog via a couple of other BJJ ladies’ blogs. I’m one too. I know that feeling. I’m pretty sure everybody gets it (even the guys). It gets less frequent over time. Are you really going to that grappling camp? I hadn’t heard about it before and now I really want to go.

  2. Didn’t you win a silver medal at your first tournament? That’s pretty good, I wouldn’t get so frustrated. I don’t know many people that even win a match there first time competing

  3. @kc: Thanks. Sometimes, everything just builds up and needs an outlet. What else is a blog for? 😛 (And if I didn’t write it out, no one would be able to say, “Hey, I’ve felt that way, too!”)

    I’m undecided on the grappling camp. Part of it may depend on how much vacation I have available, since my mom is already claiming some of it for Christmas. And part of it’s whether I can get over my “I suck” phase and decide if this is something that’s worth me doing.

    @Alex: You’re right, and thanks for the reminder. I sometimes forget about past and/or tangible measurements and end up relying instead on current, emotional measurements.

  4. I just found that old post of yours — “I don’t want to lose to a girl.” Hah. I’ve been in BJJ for four years now, and I still get variations of that a lot. It happened just last week, actually. Funny story.

    I just moved to a new town, and my belt (blue) is still packed in the moving van. I went to try out a new BJJ school with my fiance, and class ended with rolling. I was paired up with three different guys, each of whom had only been training for about a month or so. Sometimes they commented or complained about particular techniques, and if I knew anything about it I’d volunteer something, only to get brushed off. I think I tapped them each out three times per round. We all started class lined up by belt level, so I figured they would have known, but I think they saw “girl + no belt = no problem.”

    After class ended, a convenient vent linking the two changing rooms let me in on their conversation: “Man, what was up with that girl?” “I don’t know, dude, she totally kicked my ass.” “She didn’t even have a belt, and we’re all bigger than her, what the hell?” “Well, she lined up with the blue belts… ” [my guy comes in] “Yeah, we just moved here. Her belt is still in the truck.” Other three guys: “OHHHHHHH. I feel a lot less bad about my manhood now.”

    Sometimes they’re joking, sometimes they’re not, but these days I mostly view it as an immature thing that some guys don’t realize makes them look bad. They learn one way or the other. Don’t let it get you down. The guys from your school, the ones that know you, will teach the caveman-like new guys respect (mostly by example). You can trust your team to have your back, you know?

  5. @kc: Wow, thanks for the story. That’ll (hopefully) teach them to underestimate a girl on the mats. And you’re right, my boys have my back, even sometimes when I don’t realize it. (I’ve heard later that particular ones who beat on me were, uh, taught a lesson for it.)

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