Permanent Improvements.

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I wasn’t going to write today. I’m kind of in a post-comp funk.

Getting back to class felt great, to be honest. Once again I’ve found the motivation I need to focus on improving. I am hungry to get better and give this whole competition thing another shot. I refuse to let the performance in my first comp be my only performance in a comp. That would just be embarrassing.

We ain’t goin’ out like that. (My mom, the retired English teacher, is cringing at that sentence.)

Now  I have a clearer understanding of what to expect, what I need to bring to the mat, and what I should be working on. There is nothing that can prepare you for that first competitive battle other than getting out there and doing it. Now that I have that done, I’m ready to put in the work for the next one.

What went wrong for me last night was I ended up with a bad case of the “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.”

“If only I could have done this.”

“What if I would have done this?”

“I should have done that.”

Those thoughts will eat you alive if you focus on them too much.

I walked out of that tournament thinking that those girls were way better than me. That I didn’t stand a chance against any of them. I walked into SFC yesterday feeling like a loser that didn’t know what the hell she was doing. I felt like my abilities and my improvement were an illusion. A make believe BJJ fairy tale.

Class proved to me that none of those things are true. I just did a horrible job handling the nerves and the pressure and I let myself get intimidated by it all. By the end of class I was just depressed thinking about all the scenarios I got caught in at the tournament and how I know, I freakin’ KNOW how to escape and handle those situations. It’s so frustrating to think about.

I wish the tournament would have went differently. What person doesn’t go in it asking themselves, “How awesome would it be to win it all?” But, there’s nothing I can do now to change how it turned out. I lost. I lost twice. I lost badly. The only thing I can do now is let it go, get back to work, and keep moving forward.

I saw a post from Tom DeBlass this morning on Facebook that was the absolute perfect thing I needed to hear today.

“The time and effort we spend preparing for competition takes our game to the next level and can even help us break through plateaus we have reached in our training. Even if we lose in 10 seconds or win gold, that feeling of joy or despair will be temporary but the improvements we made whilst preparing will be permanent.”

In the time I spent preparing for that tournament I improved on so, so many levels. Both mentally and physically. My attitude shifted, I found focus and motivation, and my goals pushed me harder than I ever had pushed before. I’m happy with and proud of those improvements.

Without the preparation I went through, there’s a chance I could still be that girl sitting there by herself without anyone to roll with because she was too scared to ask. I could still be that girl that was terrified of looking silly or making a mistake. I could still be the girl that thought that getting better at BJJ was impossible. I could still be the girl that didn’t know much about mount escapes, guard breaks, half guard sweeps, side control pressure, re-guarding, and how beneficial underhooks can be. I could still be the girl that doesn’t realize how much fun it is to go from head snap, guillotine, front roll, to crucifix and submitting someone from there whether it be armbar, a one-arm choke, or kimura. Now that would just be a sad world that I want no part in.

My positive focus today is realizing that the preparation for that tournament took me to a whole new level.

Win or lose, nothing can take that away from me.

I am excited about using that to build on. I’m looking forward to continuing that path for my next tournament.

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