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  • sarahdraht

Taking Back Control



Brown Belt Open Division at Adults Worlds 2019. Only the medalists make it to the open.

Life is 80% mental and 20% physical. What does that even mean?


I went to train in Vernon tonight. It was my first training session back from three weeks of pneumonia, and through that pneumonia renovating the last details of the gym and running an in-house tournament. Not smart at all, but I didn't even realize I had it until my boyfriend made me go to the doctor because my chest was hurting.


My thoughts in training tonight? First training session back and last one before worlds?


Superdave was actually pretty detached from it with not much compassion which, in turn he didn't realize how much that helped me mentally. Because it was real. "I don't care what antibiotics or whatever messed with your system, you need to pace yourself, choose your grips and be strategic'. And that's exactly what I did.


A training session that could have been a big loss if I chose to focus on my losses. Sickness, renos, events, stress...Instead I chose to focus on each grip. Each deep breathe.


I realized as soon as it got hard in the rounds, I have a choice. To back off to where it's comfortable or to bury my head, dig my heels and drive through.


There is always that line.


From where it goes from comfortable to uncomfortable.


Our brain wants to keep us in the comfortable zone, it's a self-protection mechanism. On one hand this is very good and very necessary (is is why we pull our hands away from fire, for example. Fire is uncomfortable but also very dangerous). But on the other hand, the same things happens in training. In a safe environment, where my body is burning but it feels good and I know I can push more, but the brain is telling me to stop because it's uncomfortable.


This is where the real work begins.


Tonight I could have had some some big losses and gave up, but I decided as soon as I hit that line to dig deep and drive through.


You'll know that line. You always know that line. It's where the decision is to stay safe or keep digging.


This separates the athletes from the warriors.


The ordinary from the extraordinary.


I realized when Superdave took no excuses for tonight but expected me to show up exactly how we always do before a big tournament, train exactly how we do before a big tournament, and talk strategy exactly how we do before a big tournament, that I was making excuses without even realizing it. Excuses can disguise themselves as reasons and it is very difficult to tell the difference sometimes.


I knew it was an excuse because I found opportunity to use the setbacks over the last couple weeks to strengthen my mental game.





What carried me through?


The consistency from the last 8 months.


It is about being consistent every single day. 


Life is a series of days.


We must win as many as possible.


Each day is a series of reps.


We must win as many reps as possible. 


This is from Niyi Shcoeleb (UFL athlete)


I highly recommend his Sports Motivation Podcast: https://imnotyou.com/smp/


Consistency is what keeps the big pieces together when the small pieces fall apart.


I think mindset is incredibly important here too.

I think people put too might weight, thought, and energy into the things they need to do that they don't want to do.


Eating. For example. This week I ate chicken because I needed protein, I ate sauerkraut because I needed to reset my system after the antibiotics, and my shakes. It wasn't even a second thought. This is just what I do.


Simple as that.


Yoga every morning. I think there is too much stress put on this. Scheduling, time, effort....


This is just want I do.


Simple as that.


Schedule it and do it. Turn the notifications off of the phone, wake up, read a book for 20 minutes and do yoga.


I really think phones have taken away our control. With checking the phone every morning it does not start the day on the right track in my opinion.


I don't even check my phone until I am ready to take care of everything that is coming my way when I check it.


It's not complicated to do the consistent things we need to do day in and day out. I just think that we put too much weight on them, make them too complicated.


We brush our teeth every day.

We eat every day.

We shit every day.


These are every day things, this is just want we do.


Yoga. It's just what I do every day.

Reading. It's just want I do every day.


It's just what I do.


When I talk to people and they use excuses it just means they are aren't ready for change.


I'm too busy

I have kids

Too many things come up

I can't make my own schedule

My life is too chaotic

I have now time

I'm not good with being consistent


These are all beliefs they tell themselves because they aren't ready to take back control of their lives.


As I am slowly learning how to take back control of my life, I wouldn't have it any other way.


I used to wake up at the last minute, make a coffee, pop open my laptop, probably be late and in a frenzy rip off to work.


No one is stopping me from going to bed earlier, so I can wake up earlier, reading with my coffee and doing yoga. This is a very simple 45 minutes.


But I learn every day.


I am immensely enjoying the world of yoga I am learning through the Start up Program of YFBJJ. I have learnt more in one week than I have in years of attending yoga studios (Click here for that program and make sure to use code BJJSARAH for your free two weeks and discounted subscription)


I am reading three different books right now on mindset, purpose, sports psychology. It keeps me inspired, recharged, and thinking all day about the concepts. Along with being an instructor it is my responsibility to keep my students inspired and learning as well.


This is just what I do now.


So when people tell me so many reasons why they 'can't do these things'. They just aren't ready yet.


I'm not sure when they are ready. I am not sure if they are making it too complicated, I am never sure why. But I don't invest a lot of time into the conversation after that because they aren't ready for change. So there isn't much to talk about and I am not interested in hearing excuses.


I just know I am responsible for myself. And the control I have been learning to take back in my life has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.



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