This started as a blog about training together as a family, in part to inspire other women & families to get involved. As female participation in jiu jitsu has increased, as we have grown as athletes and as we learned that families training together aren’t such an anomaly, the blog has evolved. Jen gets personal with posts on ambition, challenges & achievements in BJJ, CrossFit & with nutrition, while Tom's posts are more educational, informative and analytical in regards to training. On occasion you may hear from the kids.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Last weekend, I competed at NAGA along with Caelin and Brie. Caelin did very good, winning first place in both gi and no-gi. This being her first tournament, Brie also did well, competing against boys with higher belts, even though she had only been training for a few months. Since I just turned 14, I was moved up from kids to teens (14 to 15 years old). The only thing that made me a little nervous about this was the word “teens”. I had to remind myself that I would only be fighting people my age or a year older, not someone a lot bigger and older than I am.
I had also chosen to compete in advanced. Originally I was supposed to fight intermediate because of the way NAGA splits up different skill levels, but Marcelo gave me the choice to fight a higher division. Last time I competed, he also gave me the choice, but I decided to fight intermediate. This time I decided to take the challenge and fight advanced.
Waiting in front of the mat to fight was, and always is, when I am the most nervous. It helps to think about the worst and best case scenarios. I learned this from my mom. Whenever I’d be nervous about something, she’d ask, “What’s the worst possible thing that could happen?” The best thing that could happen is that I win. The worst thing that could happen is that I lose, but that would be okay because I fought a higher division and I did my best. Not that bad at all. Thinking about this calms me down.
While my mom waited in front of the mats listening for my name, I sat down against the wall listening to my iPod and eating little pieces of broken chocolate chip cookies (It’s hard to eat when I’m nervous). When I was listening to my iPod, I was really distracting myself from being nervous more than getting ready to fight. It helped more than I thought it would.
Feeling a lot better, I got up and went over by my mom and the mat that I was supposed to fight at. I saw that they were starting Novice for gi so I put mine on. I’m glad I did, because that’s when they called my name to a ring on the opposite side of the mats and said I’d be disqualified if I didn’t hurry. After swimming through a crowd of slow moving people, I made it onto the mat and stood before the girl I was supposed to fight. She looked a little bigger than me and had a green belt, but I didn’t let it get me nervous. Not because I didn’t have time too (I really didn’t), but because one of the things I’ve learned to do is ignore the things about my opponent that will make me think I don’t have a chance.
Before I knew it, the match had started and I was fighting. When I fought I stayed focused and determined and only listened to Marcelo’s voice. I didn’t think about whether or not I was losing. If I thought about how good I was doing, I would be less determined and focused. If I thought about how behind on points I was, I’d get too nervous and frantic and not be able to think right. Instead I stayed calm and only thought about what my next move was. Even though I don’t like to think about where I am on points, it did help a lot when Marcelo yelled to me that if I passed, I’d win. I did it, and as soon as the match was over I was relieved. I was breathing heavy; partly because I was out of breath and more so because I was happy that I had won a match that I wasn’t sure I could win. I gave my former opponent a hug and told her she did good because she did and she deserved some credit.