Grumpy Bear

Small World moment of the day: A woman I know from BJJ women’s events posted a link on Facebook today. And then a friend of mine from college posted in reply. My brain said, “Tilt.” They live in different states, have very different interests, and different academic & career paths; there seemed no logical way that they could be connected. But it turns out that they used to work together. (It also turns out that they were working together at the same time that I was getting to know the BJJ woman, so I knew them both at the same time but didn’t know it. Weird!)

Grumpy Bear. All day, I now realize. Hangry, too — hungry and angry and grouchy. I didn’t think about it until late last night, but I’d had pretty much zero carbs all day, and maybe the day before (and maybe Sunday, too). Yeah, there’s a reason I never made it through the Atkins Induction Period — me without carbs is a monster. (I tried Atkins in college. Before the first week was up, my roommate was holding me down on the couch and forcing an apple in my mouth. She said she couldn’t live with me like that.)

Anyway, Grumpy Bear all night. AKA, Things Did Not Go Well. Small and weird mix of people last night, too.

Short warmup. I am very good now at scooting or crawling to the edge of the mat after forwards or backwards roll even though I am so dizzy I can hardly see where the edge is. But I scoot so that I don’t get crushed by the next person.

I’m tiiiiiiiired. And grouchy. And tired.

Specific sparring rounds from half guard to continue. Got two guys who just wanted to powerbomb on me and who both tried to twist my knees off. Much rage because my knees have not had an easy year & a half. Said lots of things in my head that I would never say out loud, but it was all ragey and angry.

Drilling: Gustavo Machado’s Showstopper. Or clock choke, if you don’t want to play pommel-horse on your partner. (Janet had been to the doctor before class to have her back adjusted, so we went with the clock choke option instead.) Brain kept stuttering during drilling.

Open Mat then, and though there were really no partners who I wanted to roll with, I still got out there to roll. And ended with one of the guys from earlier. Overall it was not the kind of round I was capable of handling — physically or mentally — at that moment. Things went approximately the same, though once I did get on top, I made sure I stayed there and tried to limit his flailing. I also wanted to prove that brute force wasn’t going to get him anywhere (and that was all he was doing) and that I wasn’t using brute force on him. O

But then Grumpy Bear, who had been growling in my head the entire round, came out in full force again when, at the end of the round, he said, “You did good!”, in what sounded to Grumpy Bear ears like a patronizing tone or one that indicated he hadn’t expected me to be able to do anything.Thank you, Mr. Two-Week White Belt, for validating my 5.5 years of BJJ. (He probably didn’t mean it the way that Grumpy Bear took it; I understand that now, but not then.)

I snapped, “It’s not about brute force,” and he looked shocked & then contrite. I immediately regretted opening my mouth and letting Grumpy Bear out. I don’t like it when I give in the impulse to say something snarky, even if the person totally deserves it. Makes me feel like such a jerk (because it’s generally something mean) and an idiot (because I let them know that what they did/said has bothered me). Grr at self.

It ended better, I hope — the guy admitted that he didn’t know very much, which is why he was just trying to break me in half and fling me around, and I said that he could just do what he knew and get better at those things. That is how you get better, isn’t it? Still wanted to smack myself for being such a jerk.

Janet hadn’t been able to roll because of her back (she didn’t want to have it unadjusted after just getting it adjusted), but she wanted to get some more drilling in, so we did a few rounds of armbar/triangle/armbar (broken lawn chair!) and armbar/omoplata. Grumpy Bear had calmed down by then, or at least was directing all grumpiness internally rather than externally.

Got home, and my brother had left me a large piece of pizza. I normally avoid pizza (gluten and dairy), but by then I knew I was missing carbs and needed to eat. A hot shower and that pizza later, I was feeling more like my self. Aaaaand cue the regret and guilt.

Also, I bought a bushel of ginormous sweet potatoes (FYI, spellcheck has no problem with “ginormous” but balks at “spellcheck”). They will be washed, roasted, and mashed in the next few days, and then eaten liberally.

Screw up, learn from it, move on. Hey, sounds like BJJ.


One thought on “Grumpy Bear

  1. I really appreciate your blog. I’m only a white belt and it’s good to see myself in your opponents. Reading you has helped me to calm down, relax, and just go with the flow. Thanks.

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