Sunday, September 4, 2011

Getting ready for the Pan Ams!


These past few months, I've begun training for my first international tournament - the no gi Pan Am games. Now, those of you who have known me for a while, know that I can  be a bit hypercompetitive - meaning that I'm a nice lady until I am racing, fighting, or playing a board game against you....then, well, it's balls (or ovaries) to the wall.

 As a swimmer, I absolutely lived to race -  in practice, meets, and open water races. I was not a bad loser per se, but I'd do whatever possible to win, to the point of peeling jellyfish off my legs without stopping or knocking people into buoys if they cut me off. (Now, before you go calling me a pugnacious jack ass, you should understand the kind of role models I grew up with. In one of my fondest memories from childhood, I sprinted out of the water winning my first open water race! when my own mother dove underneath me, so that she would cross the finish first. All's fair in love and racing, right?).

That was just the beginning. Risk, a delightful little game of world domination, had to be banned from the Rice household one Christmas Eve. It was not a silent night and it sure was not a holy night, but dammit I refused to go to bed to wait for Santa until my troops had slaughtered Europe. My father felt the same way about conquering South America so the battles continued until my mom took the game away.

In running, well, even though I knew I was't built for  it, I did everything I could to beat the tiny, dainty girls at their own game...and absolutely loved their look of surprise when I was called up for an award, looking like I could bench press the rest of them.

Of course I've grown to like jiu jitsu more than I like swimming, running, and board games it's no surprise that I absolutely LOVE jiu jitsu tournaments. I compete as much as I possibly can.  Sure I try hard to win, but that's not my only focus. I also try to learn something, support my teammates, and make friends. And, yes, when I lose, I make sure to lose gracefully. Really, I do!

The Pan Am games will be a tournament of a different level and I am excited as hell. My instructor and a few of my teammates are also competing and it's been fun going through our own little training camp. We've been refining our technique, maxing out our cardio, and visiting other schools to roll with some fresh people. I can tell you, I've learned a ton. Training has become very deliberate and intentional. I've learned what the weaknesses are in my game and  now I focus on improving these spots every time I roll.

Something else that will be different about the Pan Ams is that I will actually have a weight class, as long as I keep my hands out of the cookie jar.  Until now, I've been pretty content to compete with the heavy weights for three reasons - 1) I like the challenge of it; 2) often there are not enough women at local tournaments so weight classes get combined anyway; 3) I really do like cookies.

But, I only have 5 lbs to lose and a month to do it. I've decided that the easiest way to cut back on calories without feeling hungry is to eat more protein and cut back on carbs. So, for the past week, the only carbs that I have been eating are in fruits, vegetables, salad condiments, and beer. All this healthy eating has me feeling pretty good athletically, but it leaves me dreaming about bagels and cupcakes. (My friend posted "Three bald eagles" on her facebook status this morning. I read it as "Three bagels eaten," and logged off the computer in a fit of jealously).

I can keep this up for a few more weeks, but after that I am going to begin the search for the perfect cupcake - one moist and chocolatey and with frosting so sweet that it hurts your teeth!


  1. Kim, I'm so impressed!! You go girl and thank you for not beathing me up.
    Right now I can't get enough of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. Donna Webster

  2. you know where the perfect cupcake can be found ;)


  3. Sugarland!!! Josh, we have to go as soon as I get back.