Three years after I walked on the mats for the first time, I got promoted to Blue Belt a couple of weeks ago. Do I feel like I deserve it? Nope. Do the same people still wipe the floor with me? Yep.
So, taking stock of the process so far:
- I’m in better shape now than I have ever been and I can probably go ahead and call myself athletic, but it is a trait that was never realized in my teens or twenties, which is a shame and I try not to think about it too much. It also turns out that I’m a kinesthetic learner (a good thing to realize at some point I guess) and that means that I just have to embrace the grind. I tried taking notes, watching videos…nada. I have to do stuff again and again and again. And again until I finally carve it into that part of my brain that processes motion.
Turns out that I’m physically stronger than I think and feel. Granted, several years of grappling and kickboxing before that probably have something to do with that, but it’s just now dawned on me that I’m not ‘weak’. Regardless, I’ve started a kettlebell strength program about 5 weeks ago, mostly to address imbalances and an injury-prevention measure, because hey — there is no such thing as being too strong!
There is always someone who has your number, regardless of your belt. And if you have a good day and feel too good about yourself, don’t worry, next class you will roll with someone who will just grind you into the mats for five minutes.
Switching to a BJJ school from my previous school was the best decision and I should’ve probably done it earlier.
Anyway, it does feel good to not be a n00b anymore and leave the white belt behind, even if that only means wrapping a different colored strip of cotton around your waist.
As you might or might not know, a lot of BJJ gyms give stripes on your belt. You start out with not stripe and then collect your four stripes and then get your next colored belt. Not all gyms do it that way, but the one I’m at does. I’ve received two stripes at my old gym last year and fairly quickly got two more at my new gym after I switched.
Expectedly, if you wash your belt at least three time a week those stripes will come off at some point. No big deal, you just but them on again. However, lately it feels like my BJJ sucks and my belt loosing stripes feels like a very fitting metaphor for where I feel I am at right now. I’m trying new things, work on stuff, but I’ve received some major beatings over the last couple of months and don’t feel like I’m improving at all. More the opposite, really.
Now, that could be because I’m trying out new stuff and make an effort to break old patterns that I’ve picked up and developed, but now everything seems muddled and chaotic.
And of course I’m back on the mats two days later. Where else am I going to be?
Let me first say that I hate hate hate the heat. Never liked it, never will. And the last 10 days where a nightmare in that regard. Not only was it hot as balls, my body was also rebelling against me in the worst ways. The combination of an allergy against some dye or fragrance in a laundry detergent in combination with a heat rash from hell turned me into an itchy, aggravated, suffering ‘poor thing’, as the doctor called me. So I am recuperating from that.
In other news though, we have gone through with our property purchase and are not step closer to being real adults. Aside from us actually owning the place now nothing has really changed (the mortgage payments are going to be pretty much the same as the rental payments we had), except that now we can actually make some of the improvements we want to make. Like getting rid of that awful carpet.
I’ve been watching Hannibal and I like it way more than I expected and care to admit. He is a truly truly terrible man.
Things have been slow on the podcast front, by fear not. You can’t force that kind of thing.
In Germany we don’t dissect things and we also don’t get pull owl puke pellets apart, so I had to finally remedy that second one. The finds have a place of honor on my tchotchke shelf.
Because I’m a sucker for a deal and also enjoy playing video games I picked up Guild Wars 2 a while back and am really digging it. Not only because it’s really, really pretty.