Riding Out the Lows

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” – Dale Carnegie

sisyphus-happyI got trampled by the flu last week. For the first time since I started judo or jiu jitsu or even just working out in general, I didn’t want to do any type of exercise, not for physical reasons but purely mental ones. It was a strange feeling, and a pretty dark one that I still haven’t quite shaken. But I’ve lived just long enough to know that all such feelings pass, and all you can do is smile and watch it pass.

I still showed up to train every day this week, but far from my usual pre-planned purpose-driven practice. I just showed up and enjoyed it in a very different way than I usually do. I didn’t care about improving, learning, etc. I just enjoyed the simple conversation with the usual suspects. I get a certain comfort from talking to people who are always there, especially black belts and old timers, knowing that they’ve gone through this shit hundreds of times before. Everyone goes through dark times: due to injury, due to tension at home or at work, due to just the way the Earth rotates about its axis.

One of the things that was particularly upsetting to me is how little I wanted to compete. There was a local tournament this weekend that I was planning on going to because a couple of my buddies were going as well, but I just hated the idea of stepping on the mat. I promised myself a long time ago, that I can be scared shitless, tired, not ready, none of that matters. But if I’m not simply happy to step on the mat, there is no reason to do it. I compete to challenge myself, but at the end of the day, beyond the stress and nerves, I just love the thrill of “battle” if you could ever call judo or jiu jitsu that 😉 So it sucked very much not to look forward to competing.

I’m going to take it easy, continue drilling, training, watching videos, and hope to do the following upcoming tournaments. I might do none of them, but I sincerely hope to do all of them:

  • NAGA Philly (Feb 3)
  • World Pro Montreal (Feb 9)
  • Boston Open (March 3)
  • Pans (Mar 23)
  • NY Open (April 20)

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