Thursday, September 6, 2012

Losing Training Partners

Having my wisdom teeth out forced me to sit. No work, no running to train, no hours spent each night promoting GiFreak. In the quiet of excruciating pain, I tuned into a pervasive sense of loss in my life that I think I'd been ignoring. I realized that so much of what I've viewed as stable has been crumbling over the last year.

My grandmother's absence from this world has become quite real and very loud in my life. My job has been shaken up repeatedly. A cousin died of a long-term illness and another was taken violently. The head pastor of my church left somewhat abruptly after 8 years...And then there's BJJ.

We broke from the boxing gym we were at, which worked out beautifully, but that resulted in the loss of one of the higher belts. Another was injured to the point of no training just when I was told I should focus on learning under him. I didn't realize how much their presence created a sense of protection until their were gone. Ladybug got injured quite badly, leaving her unable to train at all and leaving me without my regular partner. Then another pastor (codename: Pastor Grappler) who'd been training at the gym with his daughter (who'd just discovered the beauty of triangles) had to move out of town .

Times like this always catch me with a bit of surprise. Partly because I'm decently objective and aware of my emotions, partly because I'm not experienced in the breaking of bonds simply because I so infrequently make them. Partly because stability has (thankfully) been a recurring theme in my life since birth and I'm...well...used to it. ...and then there's the fact that I looked forward to developing and growing with people and that the sense of loss is very much tied to accepting that those things simply won't happen the way I thought.

I remember reading the blog of a brown belt when I first started training where he spoke of how many of the people he'd trained with for so long were now gone...lost to family obligations, finances, injury and drama. He didn't sound lonely, but he was quite clearly alone. I'm in nowhere near the same position...I'm just a new blue and many of the people I started with are still around...many aren't really do have to be dedicated to the practice itself to keep going.

It's not all bad. Lady bug will be back, new people come and relationships emerge. Facebook is. The hump simply has to be gotten over.

...and now, Bane.


leslie said...

My school is in a college town, and a large portion of our teammates are college students. Every year, we lose some to graduation, and often it's just as they're becoming good training partners and teammates.

Sometimes it seems as if the team won't recover after certain people leave, or as if class will never be the same for me. I like to have the same group around me and do not like having to adjust to a new group. But eventually, things sort out -- new guys come in, old guys grow in to new roles.

Megan said...

Yeah...I think in that kind of environment it would be VERY easy for me to stop allowing myself to connect with people. I'd have to fight to keep getting close to people. I guess it's just part of the evolution of a gym.

Jennifer Fremon said...

I am also just a New blue in bjj but have done karate for 20 plus years. Back then my teacher used to say that out of 100 students who step on the floor only one makes black belt. Over my karate years I saw so so many people come and go. But a small few stayed and now there are people in my dojo who I have known for half my life. What happens is you get this shared bond of being the ones who stuck it out and it is really special.

Megan said...

That's a good point Jenn.

SavageKitsune said...

It is REALLY hard to lose people, especially teachers and other people that have played a major part in your development. It's never going to be the way it was before, when they were there. one just has to leave that reality behind and go forth into the new reality, knowing that you will leave that one behind in its turn.