The Tuesday four-hour class extravaganza straight up kicked my ass. I don’t know if it’s my overweight body, my old age, or some allergy crap I’ve got going on, but I have been very zombie-esque the last two days. I can’t kick the exhausted feeling and don’t even get me started on the soreness of my whole body. It’s just an ouch situation every time I move.
Last night I had a bit of a hard time cardio-wise. Like I already mentioned, I’ve got some weird allergy thing going on. I’ve never had allergy issues so it’s all kind of new territory to me. In my three week experience with it, I’ve come to the conclusion that allergies are stupid and they can fuck right off.
Seriously allergies. Buh-bye.
Because of this shit, I have had trouble breathing here and there and last night during our nightly rounds of pass, sweep, submit I felt like I couldn’t breathe at all. Ten seconds into the first round and I was already gasping for air. By the last few rounds I was literally crawling to my next partner while trying my best to get my breathing under control. I didn’t even end up rolling afterwards.
So, while there was that annoyance of breathing that I had to deal with, I still ended up having a great time. I feel like my improvement has hit a fast track and I can see and feel the progress I am making each time I get out there. I really like where I’m at right now. I’ve been saying that a lot lately and I admit it feels great.
Over my first year of BJJ, I felt so lost and uncomfortable and the thought of ever being able to effectively do jiu-jitsu felt impossible. It wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t hang with anyone. I was 100% the weakest and most beatable person at SFC. Bright side spin on that situation, I was the best at being the worst. It sounds better to say you are the best at something, right? Realistically, it really sucks being the best at being the worst. If I’ve learned anything about myself over the last year it’s that I am growing into being one mentally tough bi-otch. That’s bound to be the outcome when you spend a year getting your ass kicked and being the best-worst.
Doing this whole pass, sweep, submit thing has showed me that I can hang in there now. It might not be winning so much in the traditional sense, but I’m not getting defeated or destroyed every single time. And, in the world of BJJ, that is winning. I’m hanging in there. Sometimes it’s as simple as blocking a pass, other times it’s maintaining my guard and keeping them on defense. I even had some really good passes, a couple of sweeps, a few submissions, and an actual take down.
That is the BJJ recipe for a great night.
Before, my hanging in there mostly was found during rolls with inexperienced people. They didn’t know much, I knew a little, so I could hang in there and not get destroyed like I was with everyone else. Here’s the cool part about today’s post, the part that makes me feel like I’m really getting somewhere with this whole jiu-jitsu thing. When I’m talking about hanging in there today, I’m not talking about with the newbs. I’m talking about the guys that have been there for as long as I have and some even longer. When we started these guys had power, strength, and speed that I didn’t, but now I feel like jiu-jitsu is starting to even out the playing field a little.
Hallelujah! It’s about time!
I’ve watched a guy that is bigger than me and that started at about the same time I did a year ago get super frustrated when he couldn’t pass my guard and when I passed his multiple times. Now, I don’t want to sound inconsiderate of his frustration, but, and I realize this might make me an asshole, I kind of took a little bit of pleasure in his frustration. I mean I don’t wish the guy any kind of ill will, I like him, he’s a really good person, and I want to see everyone at SFC succeed. But. BUT, I have lived in that frustrating place for so long that it was kind of nice to not be the one on the receiving end of it. I might have even enjoyed being the one handing it out, a little.
Sorry. Not sorry. (FYI, that statement is the typical asshole “I can’t help it” statement. I think this might be the definitive proof that I am, in fact, actually an asshole. Sorry. Not sorry.)
Here’s my PSA to those that are just starting out in your BJJ journey…
Jiu-jitsu is hard. Like it will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done mentally and physically. You will spend so much time getting your ass kicked that defeat will become your middle name. You will get frustrated. You will feel like it’s impossible.
You could quit like so, so many do or you can suck it up, take the losses, learn from it, put in the time and effort, and eventually you will reap the rewards. One day, one glorious day, the jiu-jitsu that has repeatedly smashed you, frustrated you, defeated you, and kicked your ass will be the same jiu-jitsu that gives you the power to do the same to others. And, it will happen. Trust me, it will. Me and my progress over the last year is proof of that. Everyone that is there on the mat, never giving up, is proof of that.
Go back and read my older posts. Go read about how many times I felt like these things were impossible. Almost every post is about the struggles and frustrations and defeat I went through, that I’m still going through.
I still have moments of feeling defeated and I’m sure I’ll encounter even more moments of that in the future. But, here’s the key to how I’ve made it this far in the hardest journey I’ve taken on in my life, I refused to give up. I refused to let the defeat make a home in my brain and body. I refused to settle for a mediocre, easy path in life. I refused to walk away of from the challenges in front of me. I refused to swallow negative thoughts and let them poison my enthusiasm for bettering myself.
And, BJJ is one of the best things you can do to better yourself in all aspects of your life.
This quote is hanging on the wall at SFC. It got me through a lot of classes and pushed me past those “I want to quit” moments many times. I’m still nowhere near hammer status. At this point I consider myself a professional nail that once in a great while gets to put on a hammer costume and beat a nail or two. But, each time I step on the mat I step closer to that next stripe, that next belt, that next ah-ha moment, that next victory, that next proof of the progress I’m making, that opportunity to become the hammer.
Do yourself a favor and if you start BJJ… DO. NOT. QUIT.
You can thank me later. 🙂