Finally at the tournament.
Its surreal being the bullpen. Not just the hours of work but the days of work, the weeks of work, the months of work all come down to today. Comes down to Jiu-Jitsu. Nothing left to prepare, nothing left to do.
All of of it surreal.
Waiting in the bullpen. I'll wait there for hours before matches and in between matches. The contradictory part is it feels like hours and seconds both at the same time. .
Stepping under those lights, shaking the refs hands and the opponents hands. Nothing matters except exactly what is happening right in front of me. The ironic part is, the focus has to be on the right things. Whatever that focus is on - it dominates. Is on my Jiu-Jitsu, is it on JP, it is it on the scoreboard. The focus dominates. My focus had to shift today when I ran into a guard I had never experienced before. I wracked my brain for Jiu-Jitsu but had no answer, turned to listen to JP who coached me through a completely new guard from the sidelines - every now and then I glanced at the score board to see first if I was up or down on points, then how much time was left. Knowing the rules is so incredibly important, I knew how many penalties I could afford in the first match before it damaged me. I got away with it the first match.
8 minutes is the longest time ever, but at the same time it's so short. Not long enough.
I can prep as much as I want, eat as healthy as I want, cross train as much as I want. The raw and honest answer is it comes down to time on the mats. Time on the mats do not lie. The reason why I eat so healthy and why I cross train is so I can be on the mats more. My gold medal match had a game I had not encountered and I don't understand yet and it stumped me. Am I upset? No.
The girls in my division were fucking good. Which is exactly the challenge I had signed up for. I had signed up for the harder division, where I was at the bottom of the division (weight wise) to test my jiujitsu. And that's exactly what happened. Does any of that matter? No. I need my Jiu-Jitsu to be so good that I can face anyone, anytime and be ready to win. Today was a stepping stone.
I have to give a massive shoutout out JP (black belt and owner of Pacific Top Team Corona) who drove all the way out to coach me. He is a big reason why I did as well as I did today. His knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu is absolutely incredible. I am going to be heading down to his school for some training for sure. This is so amazing, speaks the strength of Pacific Top Team. Last two tournaments I went to alone (National Cup Pro in Ottawa and Pan-Ams today), I had someone to be with me and coach me from our team. It's so cool. Our brand is growing.
Ego is upset I didn't win gold today, my common sense tells me I got exactly what I wanted, and in fact probably what I needed. I found the holes in my game I need to fix that can only be found in competition.
For me, it's not about today. It's about the big picture. Adults worlds and black belt (as Superdave told me, and he's right)
Jorden said it the best in his facebook post he tagged me in, I can't re-word it better, so just going to put it below:
Today was a learning day. The universe threw at me a couple things I need to work on and holes I need to fill. I don't always like what the universe throws at me. Hurts my pride and my ego, but I'm sure they will be ok.
The road to those gold medal championships aren't always straight. In fact, they are never straight. There are wins, and losses and 'almost wins' and 'almost losses'. That's what makes the golds so valuable. When people give up on days like today because it was 'too hard', believe me. I get it. It wasn't easy to watch all these talented brown belt females in my division and in the open, it is very difficult to compete at the biggest tournaments in the world against the best.
It is hard. And it isn't cut out for the faint of heart. But that is what makes the gold medals so valuable. It isn't a straight path and it isn't an easy path, and those who use failure as fuel are the ones who drive forward. Failure will make or break a person. There will be a million reasons to not come back, But I refuse to listen to the soft excuses that tell me it's okay to stop now.
It isn't okay to stop now.
For me, it wasn't about today. It is about tomorrow. I know what I need to do to win adults worlds. And I'm not stopping until I do.