Shut Down Town

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Photo credit: A great Facebook page that I love to follow White Belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Yesterday was a rough one. It was one of those days were I just didn’t feel like I could do anything right. I would get one part down and forget a different detail. Then I would get that detail down only to forget another. I felt like I fumbled my way through the whole class.

My usual go-to for handling situations were I get uncomfortable and embarrassed is to shut down and escape if possible. Because, you know (incoming sarcasm), running away and avoiding things is the perfect solution to a problem.

I’m getting a lot better at not escaping. I still kind of do the shut down thing though. I sink back into my little hard-headed, protective shell. The smile goes away. I quit talking, I quit drilling, and I have an internal pity party. I just give up and let myself think, for a brief moment, that it’s impossible. It’s not a part of me that I’m proud of.

I made a little visit to this shut down place yesterday.

We were working on guillotine chokes and the instructor was walking me through it step by step. He was at the part about throwing my leg over the back when my husband slipped his head out of the choke. I felt so incredibly stupid and embarrassed in that moment. I was already struggling and fumbling through class, feeling like I couldn’t keep my head above the water.

I’m not saying my husband was wrong for doing that. I don’t want to have a partner that just gives me everything. How can I expect to learn if they let me do it sloppy or wrong each time? If the choke isn’t working I get that I need to know how to make it work.

No one is going to give you a free choke. You have to take it. Earn it.

But, in that moment, that was my breaking point. After struggling through the whole class, it just felt like another thing pointing straight at me saying, “You suck. Why are you here? Why do you think you can do this?”

I shut down. I felt so stupid. So embarrassed.

If there would have been a tiny, dark hole in that floor, I would have crawled into it and made it my home.

What kept me from completely shutting down were the 2-3 people that stayed right there with us throughout almost the class and helped us go through the details. I kept waiting for them to get annoyed with me as we drilled everything over and over and over again. Especially when I kept screwing it up over and over and over again. It never happened. They stayed right there with us. I could tell that they simply wanted to make us better.

It made me think, “They aren’t giving up on me, why should I give up on me?”

I may suck. I may suck for a really, really long time. This probably won’t be the last time I get frustrated and shut down. But, I am making a promise to myself that I will not escape. I will not give up. I can and will do this.

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