January 2, 2010
BJJ has been relaxing for me on multiple levels. Not only have I learned to find more calm while being physically attacked, I also don't worry about my weight anymore. Sure, I'd like to take off a couple of more pounds, but I know how that's going to happen. That's saved me a lot of mental energy. The study itself is also very laid back. Instructors apply minimal pressure and time is almost irrelevant.
I've had two weeks off from training because of the holidays. I haven't done a lot and I think that's a good thing. I've picked out some drills I like (bridging especially), kept my shrimping going and been studying escapes. In the past, I've spent holidays in "hobby overdrive", cramming my head full of Spanish conjugations, Chinese characters and cooking techniques, so normally I would have had my head burried in my techniques book for hours on end. Not this time! Biz school's done, so I don't feel the panic to use my free time to play "catch up". It's probably also because I plan on doing this for ten years plus, so two weeks doesn't worry me.
The temptation to push myself does crop up, since I think I can be very good at this, but I have to ask myself what my reason would be. There's no one to impress, not even myself. I'm proud of me just for learning the drills. Belts are nice measures of skill level, but there's nothing to be earned that will be more valuable if it comes a few months earlier. I'm starting to realize just how deeply my standards of learning, goal setting and improvement have been shaped by my time in academic settings.