Monday, November 22, 2010

Should I be pushing through obstacles, or sitting down and getting to know them?

A few years back, someone very close to me went through a long battle with depression. One of the things I remember most clearly about it, is how he said he dealt with it. He learned to find beauty in the sadness. Not comparing a slump in BJJ to depression by any means, but I think I'm going draw on that bit of wisdom for a least long enough to write this entry.

I left the mats tonight in an emotional pulp...disappointed in my lack of basic defense skills...angry at my inferior respiratory system that's a constant, nagging, shameful thorn in my side...regretful that before this point, I didn't take more time in life to develop myself physically. I felt everything simultaneously as I shook hand after hand, greeted by the same smiles, bows and thank-yous that have kept me going in the long, small, first step in the BJJ journey. They ring dull when I'm not feeling good about myself.

There really is meaning to be found in regret and shame and defeat and I'm beginning to question if they're not more than obstacles to be crossed or walls to be pushed through. I'm wondering if my plucky tenacity has caused me to speed by opportunities for deeper growth...I'm also beginning to wonder if I'm still talking about BJJ...but yeah...rough night. I'm going to cut myself some slack on the defense though, as I think I let it slip in trying to be more aggressive. Can't focus on everything at the same time and if it's not a reflex yet, it's gonna slip. Maybe it'll be a good area of focus for my next private. 

My relationship with breathing...I've been an asthmatic (no recent issues) with sinus and allergy problems and a drastically reduced lung capacity (40% of a normal adult's) for most of my life. Before jiu jitsu, it was an annoyance. When I started, it was something to be conquered. When I told my instructor where my inhaler was last week (just to be safe) it brought me shame. Now? Anger. The crazy part is I can't even be annoyed with, challenged by, embarrassed by or angry at myself. None of it is my's all genetic/environmental and the hand I was dealt. Even now I'm feeling petty for bringing it up. All that tells me though, is that BJJ isn't personal for me yet. It's still too distant and I'm still not seeing myself for what I am.

My last roll was with one of the teens  and it was...very pleasant. The kid's amazing. I expect to see his name with all kinds of awards after it one day. He asked me half way through if I were more comfortable on the bottom. 

"Yes but..." 
"But you want to work on your top game." 

Yep. I love people who can see the big picture. After the timer sounded, he let me know I "did good" his face meant it. I love the honesty of the teenagers. 


Georgette said...

Just that you're in jits and training is a testament to your devotion to personal growth. :)

Deborah Clem said...

Okay, that was a great post. I am going to ponder the walls now...I am dying to write something terribly brilliant, but I need a day to let it marinade.