Thursday, December 22, 2011

Counting my Blessings and 2012 Goals

As this year is coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about the goals I had for this year.  I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, I’m more than a little disappointed.  But, instead of dwelling on my disappointments, I’m going to count my blessings instead.  While I have had some ups and downs in my jiu jitsu journey this year, it has also been a year filled with some pretty amazing moments.
·        I went to a belt test and added two more stripes to my white belt (grand total of three…not too shabby). 
·        I got to witness my daughter get her yellow belt (priceless).
·        I competed in two tournaments and made some new jiu jitsu friends. 
·        I had a lot of “Ah Ha” moments on and off the mat. 
·        I realized that I am stronger (physically and mentally and emotionally) than I ever imagined I could be. 
·        I met some amazing women through Girls in Gis that share my love of jiu jitsu. 
·        I attended a Leticia Ribeiro and Beatriz Mesquita seminar with my daughter and my friend. 
·        My friend and I went to a jiu jitsu seminar with UFC fighter Charles Oliveira.
·        I won a free Scramble hoodie and then got a free Tatami Zero G Midas gi to review from
·        I started my jiu jitsu blog, and now I have a whole worldwide community that shares my love of jiu jitsu.
Now it’s time to set some new goals for 2012.  These aren’t written in stone, and hopefully they will change and grow as the year progresses.  So, I’m taking a deep breath, and I’m going to share them with you.
·        Continue to work towards my blue belt.
·        Improve my cardio and work on my relationship with food.
·        Compete as much as my schedule allows.
·        Compete in no-gi at least once.
·        Continue to be involved in Girls in Gis and work towards hosting an event at my home gym.
·        Work on my interview series.
·        Encourage and support my daughter in her jiu jitsu goals.
·        Attend at least two jiu jitsu or grappling seminars.
·        Have more fun on the mat.

I also have a few dreams.  These are things that I would absolutely love to see happen, but afraid to speak them out loud because they might never come to fruition.
·        Help resurrect the women’s jiu jitsu class at my gym.
·        Write articles or do product reviews for MMA or BJJ related sites.
·        Try the MMA class.
·        Consider going back to college and finishing up my Associates degree.
I just wanted to finish this post with something my coach posted to me on Facebook recently.  It was after a very difficult night, and I was frustrated with always, always, always being on the bottom.  I was second-guessing myself.  I was wondering after 18 months how come I’m still always on the bottom.  I was equating being on bottom with being bad at jiu jitsu.  His words were pretty simple, but powerful. 
"I literally had to play guard and bottom position for years..ask questions..trial and error..ask more questions and now I'm confident in my jiu jitsu..when I stopped caring how good this guy was or how much better someone else was or how I wished my game was like this persons was when my game really exploded..I stopped caring about looking good and just learned to be in the moment and what my opponent wanted to give’re on your way."
So, I’m not worrying about other people’s game anymore, I’m worried about my game.  Plus, I like to think that after 18 months I do have my own game.  I am confident that it will continue to grow and get better, but I believe that the core of it is already there…I was just too blind to see it.  I want to thank my Elite coaches for a great year of jiu jitsu.  I’m looking forward to many more years of beautiful jiu jitsu with you all!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Missing the Mat

I’ve been under the weather for two weeks now.  That means two whole weeks of no mat time.  I’m not as bummed as you might think.  I do miss the gym and my buddies and training, but sometimes my old lady body just says “I Give”.  I also need to have a little “RFTC” done on my neck and shoulder…that’s not cosmetic surgery is case you were wondering…it’s radio frequency waves destroying nerves by my spine (yeah…you might not think I’m that old, but my spine thinks it’s about 80).  I’ve been able to go two years since my last procedure, which is awesome, and now my neck is sort of screaming for a little attention.  It’s a very routine procedure (at least to me), and I will feel like a million bucks afterwards…and maybe I will not feel so weird about forward rolls and judo rolls and backwards roll…just hoping for a miracle there!  So I hope this finds everyone in a good place as this year comes to an end.  As for myself, I can’t complain.  My jiu jitsu is getting better, one little baby step at a time, and for that I am grateful.  Right now I’m thinking about my goals for 2012.  I have some things in mind, but I’m a little afraid to put them in writing or say them out loud.  It’s too scary.  I’ll have to mull them over and over and over, and then maybe I’ll share them with you.   :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Armbars and Triangles....OH MY!!

Somewhere in the very beginning of my training I think I missed out on some key ingredients.  You might ask what could that possibly be.  Well, let me take you back in time...June of 2010...I was still very out of shape and my flexibility was horrible (and I do mean HORRIBLE).  I felt like the fat nerdy kid on the playground.  So the first move I ever got taught was your traditional armbar from mount.  Easy enough, right?  Not!  At that point in time, my knees were so stiff and inflexible, it was almost impossible for me to even attempt the armbar.  I felt like a complete failure.  So, I never even tried to armbar people, ever.  Then, there was the closed guard.  Everyone loves to play closed guard...not me.  I am 4'11" and fluffy.  Not the best position for me to be in.  I most likely will never be able to close my short legs around you.  So, you guessed it already, I never even try to put people in my closed guard (halfguard, yes, closed guard, no).  Needless to say, side control and north south have become my best friends (my go to positions).  I feel comfortable there.  I feel in control there.  I don't have to worry about my knees or my short legs.  But what about all those magical armbars and triangles and such.  A girl dreams about being able to do that sort of stuff.  Don't get me wrong, I love my bread and butter choke, but pretty much everybody knows that's my go to submission and they are ready for it.  So, my dilemma, how can I start to roll differently.  Get that old lady mentality out of my head and off the mat.  A good friend has been working with me and he absolutely hates for me to say that "I can't do that".  And I guess he's right...everything we do in jiu jitsu, I can do, I just have to figure out how to make it my own.  Plus, the unthinkable happened a few weeks ago.  Same friend taught me an armbar from SIDE CONTROL.  I can't tell you how happy that made me.  My go to position + armbar = PRICELESS.   Now triangles...I'm coming for you...this little old lady wants to be able to triangle someone in a live roll before she's completely gray and has grandkids. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Texas Open Afterthoughts

I’ve been spending some time processing my thoughts since the Texas Open.  I feel very good about how I did.  I didn’t win my match, but my victory was not in getting the submission or coming home with a medal, it was me overcoming my fears.  So, for that moment in time...I won!  My goal with this tournament was different than most.  I just wanted to have fun.  I wanted to quiet that little voice and just live in the moment.  SUCCESS!!  I didn’t listen to that little voice.  I smiled, a lot.  I had fun!  Added bonus, I got to meet some of my fellow lady BJJ Facebook friends in person…pretty cool!  Best of all, I got to watch jiu jitsu all day…now that’s my idea of a great Saturday!
I just want to give a huge shout out to the women’s jiu jitsu community that was there.  You ladies are awesome beyond words.  We are at all different skill levels and different ages and all have very different styles…but we share one thing…we all love jiu jitsu.  It’s amazing how we can go for the kill on the mat one minute and then stand up and hug afterwards.  Yea, it’s pretty freaking awesome.  And that girl we just lost to, we are cheering her on in her next match, hoping and praying she does well, and we are proud when she wins! 
So what does the future hold for Mrs. Ibarra after her second tournament experience?  I’m going to keep on training as much as my crazy life allows.  I’m going to keep tweaking my game, improving my cardio, and yes, I am going to try to lose weight.  I am tired of being the only heavyweight woman at these tournaments.  I am 44 years old and I feel pretty darn good about being able to keep up with these young girls on the mat (but if I had 30 less pounds to carry around I’m sure I could keep up even better).  So, I’m relishing the small victories and looking forward to competing again in 2012.  I can’t wait to see all of you ladies on the mats again real soon!  Who’s with me?? :D

Friday, November 18, 2011

Texas Open and Ghost Hunting

The Texas Open is tomorrow!!  Looking forward to a fun day filled with great jiu jitsu.  If you're in the area, come on out and enjoy the fun.  

Tonight I'm going on a ghost hunt adventure in Galveston with the MMA Lady.  Should be great fun and something to take my mind off competing tomorrow.  Nothing like a little ghost hunting to make you forget about your worries!!  

To everyone who's helped me, pushed me, encouraged me, didn't give up on me...THANK YOU!  I promise to do my best, and just a little bit more!!  :D

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adrian Yanez Interview - From Mat to Cage in 2 Years

This is the post-fight interview of Adrian Yanez and actually my first interview to publish on my blog.  Adrian Yanez is one of my teammates and had his first amateur MMA cage fight on Saturday, October 22nd.  I will start by saying that I would not have missed this fight for anything in the world.  My daughter skipped her high school homecoming dance to go see this fight.  I didn't go watch his fight with the intention of interviewing him.  It hadn't even crossed my mind at the time.  But when I saw him step into the cage for the first time I knew that what I was witnessing was something special (plus we were surrounded by more of his family members than I could even count and the love and pride they had for him was quite apparent).  He actually started Elite MMA at the same time my kids did, and just two months before I did.  Having personally trained with Adrian Yanez over the past two years, it was thrilling to watch him train for this fight, and then to see him win filled me with tremendous pride.  You might be asking, what's so special about that, lots of guys fight these days.  Well that might be true, but Adrian Yanez is only a 17 year old high school student.  I've watched him transform his body and mind over the last two years.  I don't know many 17 year old kids with the kind of drive and determination he has.  He just never gives up.  He inspires me.  I can't tell you how many times on the mat Adrian has come up behind me and cheered me on, made me push myself just a little bit harder while never letting me give up.  So I got the idea that I wanted to pick his brain a little bit.  How about an interview?  That sounded pretty cool...find out what a 17 year old cage fighter has to say.  From the mat to the cage in 2 years is pretty impressive so I hope you all enjoy the Q&A below as much as I did.

Adrian taking care of business (he's in the blue and white shorts)
This photo was taken by Mike Calimbas,

Q. Congratulations on your first MMA fight and your first win!  I'd like to take a look back from the beginning.  When did you start training?  Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, MMA
A. I started training at Elite MMA in September of 2009, I started off with cardio kickboxing, then moved up to BJJ, did MMA before I did a kickboxing class. Kind of went in a weird direction. Haha.

Q. At what point in your training did you know that you wanted to get in the cage?
A. I knew that I wanted to fight even before I found Elite. I wanted to be a boxer but ended up finding something much more intense. Finally got inside the cage, and I loved it.

Q. Do you have any specific short term goals in BJJ?  MMA?
A. I don't really have any short term goals, but in BJJ I want to win a tournament in both Gi and Nogi. For MMA, I want another fight.

Q. What are your long term goals in BJJ?  MMA?
A. Now for long term goals, in BJJ I want my purple belt, then get my brown, and getting my black. It's a long journey for that, but I'm up for it. In MMA, I want my stand up to be just as good as my ground for I can be a well rounded fighter, my second long term goal in MMA is that I want to win the 145 belt.

Q. Will we see Adrian Yanez cross over to the professional fighting circuit in the near future?
A. If I think that my skills are good enough to go pro, then possibly yes, but I need so much training till then. It's a bigger level of competition, and I want to make sure that I can be at that level.

Q. Preparing for a fight is physically and mentally grueling work.  You are only 17 years old and a senior in high school.  Tell us how you managed your high school schedule and training and how did you prepare yourself mentally for the fight?
A. It was a little rough, not too much. I just had to get a little more headaches and study harder and train twice as hard. I'm almost out of school, and this month I'm a be 18, so I have to be able to deal with these types of thing like nothing, because I'm a be working while I am trying to accomplish my goals. But everything is just mental and I thank my family (family includes Elite) for making me mentally tougher and stronger to take on the world.

Q. What advice can you give those out there who might be thinking about getting in the cage to fight? 
A. All the advice I can give is to stay cool, calm, and collected; and be dedicated to wanting to go through the training for the fight. Like my coaches tell me, "the fight is won during the training, not the actual fight".

Q. BJJ is my passion, so I always want to know...what's your favorite submission and go to move? 
A. Oh my. I absolutely love the triangle and the loop choke. The triangle is my go to move for submission in Nogi, and in Gi, the loop choke is my go to move. The loop choke, best and sneakiest choke I know, I have got Jordan, Julian, and Robert in the choke, but never able to finish... :( haha.

Q. You are only 17 years old, but you already have a very disciplined work ethic when it comes to your training.   What motivates you to keep going and what helps keep you on the right track?   Is there anyone that inspires you or someone that has been a big influence on your decision to train BJJ/MMA?
A. What motivates me to keep going is that I want to be a little role model for my little cousins and show them that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. The thing that inspires me to keep going further is my coaches and my family. My coaches are doing what they love almost everyday and one day I want that's what I want for me.

Q. It has been my pleasure to watch your transformation over the past 2 years.  I am honored to know you and train with you.  What would you consider the biggest life change as a result of your training?
A. My biggest life change, it would have to be getting healthier and eating right. I love were I'm at today. I feel great, my self confidence is way higher. Also, I like the fact that I've become more mature as this "transformation" happened. All that I have to thank is my family at home and at Elite.

Q. Where do you see yourself in the BJJ and MMA community in 10 years?
A. 10 years from now, I see myself as a great BJJ black belt from Elite MMA. I see myself as a Pro fighter that is very well rounded. I want everybody to be scared when they see that they are facing a person from Elite, whether it's a MMA fight or BJJ tournament. I can contribute to that by training hard, receiving and sharing knowledge, and pushing my team mates when they need it. All this will get me were I want to be in 10 years.

Q. Since you are only 17, I can't ask you about your jiu jitsu ink, so tell us something else about Adrian Yanez that we don't know.  What kind of music do you like, movies, sports, any other interests you might have? 
A. Hahaha, soon I can get some jiu jitsu ink. Pretty much, all I like to do is something that has to do with MMA. I absolutely love the sport. I like any type of music, just the type I can train too. Haha. The only other interest I have is boxing and some football, but I like to stay within a combat sport.

Mrs. Ibarra: As a woman and a mother of a daughter who also trains BJJ, I am thankful for a training environment like Elite where we are empowered and supported by our extended jiu jitsu family.  I would like to personally thank you for being such a huge supporter of mine over the last 2 years.   I am looking forward to great things from Adrian Yanez, on and off the mat. 
Adrian Yanez: Thank you for this opportunity and supporting me. You've been nothing but great to me. I am grateful for everything you have done for me.
Adrian with his coaches after his win.
This photo was taken by Mike Calimbas,

I really enjoy writing about my BJJ experiences and I didn't think it would ever be anything other than writing about my own experiences.  But the longer I immerse myself in this sport, the more I understand how much I can learn from the experiences from others...even a 17 year old high school kid.  He's pretty amazing and I look forward to the day when he's a black belt and I can stand in the line with him....and I will be thinking...I remember when...and I will be smiling because I got to be a part of his journey.  Thank you Adrian!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Living the Dream

It's been two years since I first stepped on the mats at Elite MMA.  I started in November of 2009 with the cardio kickboxing class.  In June of 2010 I started the Women's BJJ class and then in September of 2010 I started the Adult BJJ class.  I could not have imagined two years later that I would be sitting here blogging about my BJJ experiences.  Sometimes I can't even put into words how I feel about it.  It leaves me breathless and my heart starts beating faster and I might even shed a few tears.  When we are little girls, we dream about things like getting married and having babies and some of us even dream about having some kind of cool career.  My dreams didn't include anything athletic or physically challenging.  I always thought those things were out of my reach.  So if I could put into words what jiu jitsu did for me, it would have to be that it gave me a new dream.  A dream that I didn't even know existed.  It started out small and keeps changing and transforming as I walk this journey.  So this is my shout out to my Elite MMA family.  You guys gave me something that I can never thank you enough for, something I can never repay you for, something that is priceless.  You gave me a life I couldn't have ever imagined.  You gave me a dream, something that I hold close to my heart and treasure.  I go to bed thinking about jiu jitsu, I dream about jiu jitsu and it's usually on my mind when I wake up in the morning.  I could not imagine my life without jiu jitsu.  Even when the journey gets rough, because at times it does get rough, I still love the journey.  Thank you Elite family for being a part of my beautiful journey. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eyes Wide Shut

My friend Conor Hogan posted the following last night after training.  Flow rolling with your eyes closed...I have to say that I am absolutely intrigued.  Thanks for sharing Conor.  I will see you on the mats soon (with my eyes closed)!! :D

"For my BJJ friends:  I want all of you to try slow rolling (50%) with your eyes closed sometime.  It sounds stupid, but it is really incredible.  I forgot how or why I started doing this, but it came at a point where I had been plateaued as an early blue belt.  My game opened up SO much after that.  The lack of visual stimulation and the "submission/pass anxiety" that comes with it lets you relax on focus on flowing with the roll.  You'll feel grips immediately, and your spacial awareness increased 20-fold.  If someone takes your back, oh well.  Work on escaping (with your eyes closed!)  There's no reason to not want to work on a particular aspect of your game.  Come shout at me after class if you want to try it out without having to subject yourself during BJJ class.  It might just be that extra push in the right direction that you need to reach the next level."

If you have things you've done to improve your BJJ game, please share.  This is a very interesting concept, and I am anxious to give it a try.  I am also curious about those that are hearing impaired.  Sound is a big distraction for me, so I would be curious what it's like to roll without all the noise.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.  Wishing everyone a week filled with great training!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Quiet Please!

I'm trying not to listen to that little voice.  You know the one...the one that talks you out of doing things or talks you into doing things...the one that sits on your shoulder and second guesses what you already know in your heart.  Well my little voice is trying really hard to talk me out of competing in the Texas Open.  I told myself that I was going to do this tournament no matter what.  No matter what that little voice says to me.  By now you probably think I'm a little nuts.  Well, maybe I am.  I started BJJ at 43 and now I'm 44.  Heck, it's not easy to compete when your 24 much less 44.  They don't have a seniors or masters division for the ladies.  So, I'm going to suck it up and just do it.  No more second guessing.  Okay, now that the little voice is's time for this little old lady to get busy training.  

Shout out to Fight to Win for giving us ladies free tournament entry for attending the second anniversary of Girls in Gis.  Now if that's not a good reason to compete, I don't know what is!! :D

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Goals and What's Your Jiu Jitsu Animal?

Here are my goals for 2011.  I wrote out my goals and my BJJ blueprint back in January.  I've modified it a few times, but the goals have remained the same.  I thought it was a good time to revisit them.  Only a couple more months left in 2011 so it's time to take stock and see where I am.  
My Goals:
Blue belt by YE2011
Compete in one more tournament before blue belt
Continue to lose weight and work on cardio

At this point, all I can do is focus on improving my jiu jitsu.  I'm trying not to think too much about the belt or the stripes.  When did all that stuff become so important anyway?  This week I'm going to forget about the goals and do some things differently.  I read a great blog post over at JoshJitsu - Tappin' and Nappin'.  Here's what he had to say...
What kind of animal is your jiujitsu? Is it otterjitsu where you are laughing and playing on the mats all the time, just looking to roll playfully with everyone all the time? Is it wolfjitsu where you play the long hunt and never let your opponent rest until they are so tired they just give you an arm? Is it bearjitsu where you crush your opponent down and then maul them? What kind of attitude do you approach your jiujitsu with?

So, figure out what kind of animal your jiujitsu is and then look at how that affects your rolling habits and patterns. Now CHANGE ANIMALS. You're normally a wolf? Be a tiger for a day. The quick spring and savage finish instead of the long steady chase. When you play differently and change gears you'll find that different techniques and strategies start to open up to you. Different ways to play the same game will appear as you adjust your attitude towards the roll.

I really thought it was a great idea and I had to share.  If you're curious...I'm an alligator, slow moving but capable of short powerful bursts.  Still can't decide what animal I'm going to try out this week...stay tuned.  
As far as the tournament thing goes, I am officially registered for the Texas Open and I still intend to compete. I'm desperately trying to get back to that place in my head where I was stone cold ready.  I've got a good month to work on that and I'm sure it will all fall into place.  I'm not going to put any pressure on myself or have any expectations.  I'm going to approach this tournament as a fun-filled learning experience.  I don't have anything to lose, but I have lots of experience to gain.  

I am still struggling with my weight and my cardio.  They officially both suck at this point.  Coach told me a while back that I already know what I have to do to make the necessary changes.  But am I mentally ready for what that actually means?  I don't know.  Only time will tell.  I'm just taking it one day at a time.  

Last Friday night I bit the bullet again and got another tattoo.  It's Japanese Kanji for "Beautiful Journey".  It's very symbolic of my jiu jitsu journey and how someday I want my jiu jitsu to be beautiful.  For now it's just the symbols, but I'm open to the possibility of adding to it and enhancing it over time.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Arm lock you are not out of my short legged grasp!!

This past Sunday I went to Girls in Gis at Revolution Dojo in Katy, Texas.  I went by myself...the teenage daughter was too tired from that Division I UIL band rating to get up and go with, plus she was already starting to feel a little under the weather.  It was a big step for me to go by myself.  I usually never go anywhere alone.  That's a testament to what jiu jitsu has done for me.  I love it enough that I will venture out alone to an event. Well, enough of that, that's not why I'm writing this post.  I really wanted to share my little mini breakthrough with the arm lock.  For those of you who know me, arm locks and arm bars and triangles are not a short girl's best friend. I avoid them like the plague.  I'd rather choke you than ever, ever armbar you.  Plus, I never felt coordinated enough to pull off the arm lock from guard.  Something clicked in my brain this past Sunday.  I don't know what it was. Maybe it was my great training awesome brown belt from New York!  Maybe it was something that was said during the demonstration.  Maybe it was something my training partner said while drilling.  I don't know...but for the first time ever I thought that I might actually be able to do this elusive thing that I felt was completely out of my short legged grasp!  I love the "AHA" moment when I'm training.  I love it when the light bulb goes off.  I had a great time.  I rolled with a bunch of really awesome ladies and I learned some new tricks.  Thank you to Revolution Dojo for hosting this latest event.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Overcoming My Half Guard Mental Block and Girls in Gis this Sunday

"It's official: I'm half guard stupid."  That's what Megan was blogging about over at Tangled Triangle.  Well Megan, me too!  We did a drill last night where we started from half guard.  The second it came out of their mouths, I'm sure I had this deer in the headlights look or worse.  Coach had to come over and talk me down from the ledge and show me some stuff to try.  I have a complete mental block about what to do when I have people trapped half guard.  The kicker is that I often catch people in half guard (it's hard to get past my little short legs) but I go blank once I get you there.  I know we've worked several different half guard sweeps in class, but alas, they have left my brain.  So today I'm going to immerse myself in some YouTube videos.  Other Coach suggested to my teenage daughter to look up Jeff Glover, deep half guard.  The reverse is not true however, I am very adept at escaping from half guard (again, it's those little short legs, hard to keep them trapped).  This is nice to be actually blogging about technique.  Very nice indeed!

If you haven't heard already, there's another Girls in Gis at Revolution Dojo in Katy, Texas on Sunday, October 16th from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.  Women and girls of all ages are welcome.  If you've ever wanted to give jiu jitsu a try, this is the perfect place to do it.  Check out Combat Sports Review blog post about the event. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Teenage Daughters

I got back on the mats today after more than a week of not training.  My pity party is officially over.  Things are slowly getting better with my son and I am confident that he (and I) will make it through the sixth grade.  I had my teenage daughter on the mats with me tonight.  It felt good to have her there.  I had missed her.  She grounds me like no one else can.  She pushes me like no one else can.  She doesn't let me give up.  Maybe it's our shared DNA.  Maybe it's our shared love of jiu jitsu.  It's probably both.  It just felt right.  It's where she belongs.  On the mats.  Paving the way for little girls not even born yet.  I'm proud of her.  She juggles a high school schedule, lots of homework, plus she's a member of our local high school marching band.  She hasn't had the time in her schedule to train a lot since school started, just an occasional class here and there and two Girls in Gis events.  It has to be enough for right now.  We're scheduled to attend another Girls in Gis on Sunday, October 16th in Katy.  It's the day before her 15th birthday and she has a full schedule (football game on Friday and then UIL marching band contest on Saturday and then Girls in Gis on Sunday).  We will take a breather and celebrate on Monday the 17th with a small birthday party.  We will eat lots of pizza and cake and just have some good old-fashioned family fun.  The football season will be over soon and she won't have such a hectic practice schedule for band.  This should free her up to train a little more regular.  She's got some pretty lofty goals (orange belt and then green belt before she turns 16).  I think she can do it.  She's stubborn and got just enough fire in her belly to get it done.  I will do everything in my power to help her accomplish those goals.  She's proud of the fact that she trains BJJ.  Her face lights up when people ask her about it.  It's those moments that I live for.  In the end, it won't be me (an old lady who started BJJ at 43), it will be those little girls who started when they were young and didn't give up on the sport that will make the most difference.  Can't you just see it...a room full of girls with black belts...teaching future generations of little girls.  I pray that one day I will be on the mat with my daughter and my granddaughter. that's something to look forward to.  So I guess I better get busy and get training, I've got my future grandchildren to think of.  

Side note:  I'm taking my eating habits one day at a time.  Today was a good day.  Those wonderful 23 flavors did not touch my lips today.  I ate vegetables today.  I controlled the urge to eat chocolate today.  I drank tons and tons of water today.  Yes, today was a pretty good day! :D