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.