A Belt Ceremony

Ugh, too long away from jiu-jitsu. It snowed/sleeted Wednesday night and Thursday; I worked from home and classes were cancelled anyway. And a co-worker gave me the plague that he’s been carrying around for weeks, so I was sick on Thursday and Friday, too. Saturday I was good and stayed away from the academy, though when I went out Christmas shopping during class time, I was oh-so-tempted to stop in. But I didn’t.

Tonight, appointment first with Dr. Tom. Shoulder is much better. Still a little twinge, though. I’m watching my posture, particularly my shoulders, which like to rotate inward and pinch on that nerve. He still wants to see me again this week and even recommended that I sit out tonight, too. And I very nearly let him talk me in to going home.

I am so glad I didn’t listen to him.

We ended up with quite a large class, considering that all the students have left. Scott is in the middle of final edits on his PhD dissertation, but he was there. Will takes Mondays off for date night with his wife, but he was there, too.

First roll, with a newer guy. I’m not sure if it was that he was trying hard to do jiu-jitsu or that he was trying not to hurt me, but I was rolling and thinking, Geez, I ought to take time off more often. I’m mauling this guy. Felt good. Though, he was really trying to do the few things that he’s learned over the last few weeks. Tim called time, though, after we’d only been rolling for a few minutes. I remember thinking that that had been a really short roll.

Then Tim called us all together and started talking about promotions and about one special promotion. I looked around the room but couldn’t figure out who he was talking about. There’s only one guy who I knew was close — to blue — and he wasn’t there. The only other thing I could figure is it might be one of the guys who just graduated college and will be moving away soon. I could see everyone else glancing sideways, trying to figure out who it was. But Tim never makes a speech during promotions; he just beats you with a belt during a roll, and maybe says something to you afterwards. But never a speech. Tim said later he’d had a big speech all planned, but he was just too excited and couldn’t get through it.

Finally he just reached inside his gi, pulled out a black belt, and hauled Justin up.

I think at that moment I was happier for him that I’d been for my own promotion.

Long time before we got back to training. Lots of pictures and rounds of hugs. Justin had the biggest grin on his face all night long.

Next a round with Will and then one with Scott. None of the vibes from earlier carried over. Everything seems so effortless on their part, and all my effort, worthless. But I was still too excited over Justin’s promotion to care much.

Drilling was breaking spider guard grips and passing. Drilled with Theresa and could actually get some reps in; then a final round of rolling with her.

More pictures and hugs afterwards. More grinning. Tim told us that that belt is the same one that Renzo gave him on his promotion.

Ack, I’m too excited still and can’t type straight!


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