Saturday, March 24, 2012

mental health break

I'm having a  real "fuck jiu jitsu, maybe it's time to quit and do triathlons" moment. I don't think it will go that far, but I think it's time I've taken a few days off.

I believe in doing what you love and loving what you do. Jiu jitsu doesn't pay my bills or feed hungry children or do anything great for the world. I do it because it's fun, and when it stops being fun, I know it's time to take a step back.

Women, in my experience, tend to be more selective about their training partners than men are. We want to be safe, we don't want to get smashed with strength, and we want to look ok when we go to work the next day. I don't like making the choice between rolling with someone who is going to play dirty, or sitting out the round. More often than not I choose the former, but that leaves me frustrated and, more than anything, just plain hurts my feelings. I believe a couple of things:

1) When I get tapped, it should be because of one of the following - the person is better than me, is trying something new, or caught me before I could defend. When this happens, I will most likely compliment him or her on the technique and try to learn from it. But if someone flat out beasts a move, it doesn't help either of us. Doing something to me that could not be realistically done to someone one's own strength does not help that person learn. It just makes me want to roll with someone else. It took me a while to learn this, but when I train with smaller girls, I make a conscious effort to tone done my strength. Sometimes this means I get tapped, but I learn more from that than by plowing through somebody.

2) There is a time and a place for heavy cross-facing, choking with your forearm, covering someone's eyes with a gi, or grinding your elbows or fists into their face - tournaments. Or street fights, if you are so inclined. Personally, I flat out do not do these things to my training partners. If these are things you want to do in practice, I suggest doing them with partners who match your style.

In Jiu jitsu, people are our training equipment. Good equipment will stick with you for a long time and will help you improve. Bad equipment will wear you down or get you injured.

Back in  my swimming days, I had a very fancy racing suit that I used to wear in my open water races. It was hydrophobic, which means that it repelled water, giving me less drag. Also, the material was super buoyant, allowing me to ride a little higher in the water. It was a fast, fancy suit, but it had one flaw - when I least expected it, it would expose my left boob.

Often this would happen at the end of a race, when I would quickly go from horizontal to vertical. As I would run out of the water, trying to overcome vertigo, my left boob would pop its way out of my suit, exposing my goods to the spectators. In my mind, racing trumped modesty, so I would just keep going. But after several embarrassing race finishes, I finally I accepted the obvious - my fast, fancy suit simply did not fit.

You didn't REALLY think I'd post a picture, did you? This is the new suit I bought, one that keeps both my girls covered.

Lately, my boob has been popping out on the mats, metaphorically speaking. Some of my training equipment does not fit me well. I'm tired of leaving the mats in tears; And I've already watched a couple of good blue belt women quit training because they felt like they were getting smashed.

So it's time for a little mental health break. I have a lifetime to learn jiu jitsu, so a couple days off won't kill me.

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