I had a title but I losted it

I missed the fundamentals class on Monday and the start of the intermediate/advanced class because I’d had to drive my mom to the dentist. She had a pain in her jaw that she said felt “worse than childbirth.” Turns out it was infected (and the dentist said it was the worst infection he’s ever seen [and he’s been around for a loooong time]) and she needed a root canal. Blech. Makes my teeth itch just thinking about it.

But the class I was there for was a lot of good tournament work. I got lots of standup work — no pulling guard allowed, which is freaking hard for me, yo — and I felt pretty good afterwards. Tuesday I should have trained, but had gotten my weeks mixed up with my hairdresser and had an appointment. (P.S. I lurve my hair right now. But I keep having to do a double-take when I see my reflection!)

Tonight was more tournament work. Two rounds to warm up, and then several rounds from standing and finally ending with one on the ground (and by then I could scarcely stand, so that was a good thing). And then there were no more warm fuzzies. Everything I did was the exact opposite of what I knew I needed to do. And the guys were turning it up, too, because they’re either competing or know that the rest of us are, so there was no going easy like they normally do.

Almost right off, I started getting frustrated because I couldn’t do jack squat except get thrown down, passed, and submitted — and sometimes without the passing, too. I wanted to cry, tell the truth: this hurts, this sucks, *I* suck. And then… I told that little nagging voice to shut up, I’m standing back up anyway, all that pressure is just in your head, this isn’t about winning here & now, it’s about being tough enough to get through it. Miraculously, it listened (and took the threatening tears with it), and it kept its big blab mouth shut the rest of the rounds.

Not that anything else changed in the rounds. I still got tossed around, but I kept trying to sprawl and recover. I still got passed, though I kept trying to regain. I still got submitted, but I stood right back up and went for more. But the goal had changed from “win all the things” to “just keep swimming.” Now that, I can do: set your jaw, bear down, get gritty, and keep churning. I had to start popping glucose tabs between rounds because I was getting a little lightheaded, but I didn’t find any quit in me.

So by the end of the night, while I still was not too impressed with my performance, I was at least proud of myself that I hadn’t given up, I hadn’t taken a round off (there was an odd number), and I hadn’t had a meltdown. Yay, positives!

Lifting class in the morning but no training tomorrow night, then leaving for the Submission Only tournament in Richmond sometime Friday. That will be a good time, and several of my guys are talking about going up, too. My scale is still telling me different numbers every time I step on even though I did change the batteries. So I have no idea if I’m on weight or not. Probably not, after that Thanksgiving. (Actually, it’s not all Thanksgiving itself — it’s also all the days afterwards of eating the leftovers!)


5 thoughts on “I had a title but I losted it

  1. I feel your pain re: training with the boys around tournament time. It sucks, it’s awful, and I hate it (especially if I’m getting ready too). I love training with them 99% of the time, but around tournament time, I want someone my size/strength to play with so I can test my techniques.

    A girl can dream.

    • Yeah, we do have some girls, but they generally can only train in the classes that I cannot make. (I also wonder how I’ll do in a Submission Only format when I don’t get to practice submissions…)

  2. It’s always tough to not be allowed to pull guard for me too. But, I have to admit that it’s nice to work on things that make you a more complete grappler.

    • I dunno how much I work on other things — mostly my internal monologue is focused on reminding me not to pull guard: “Don’t you dare pull guard! No matter what, don’t you fracking pull guard. No! Don’t do that! I don’t care if he’s begging for it, don’t you pull guard, young lady!”

  3. Man, you gotta drill. Take an hour every day and drill drill drill drill. Drill at the speed of the fight. You HAVE to do it, until your submissions are second-nature and you’re slapping them on without thinking. It’s even more important if you’re not getting them in during sparring.

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