"Move your legs like a scissor"
Gross. I'm staying at a hotel tonight and instead of lugging my sweaty workout stuff into the room, I spread it out in the car to dry a little before I put it in the garbage bag that is serving as my laundry basket. I had to come down just now to find my cell phone (and to have some of the banana bread Mrs. Durham made for me), and now my car smells like wet dog.
I had to say goodbye to Darin and Linh today. Man, it was difficult. I am excited to get going on the rest of my trip, but I had such fun with them and they have such a wonderful life in Somerset. And I'm headed into the unknown. It helps to know that they had the same doubts I do, and that there are amazing things waiting for me. And a year later, they still talk about their trip as a life defining event; I'm sure the same will go for me. It was just a little lonely to drive away.
But soon after I left heard a Sheryl Crow song and one of the lyrics made me happy: "Everything's different but everything is fine." Couldn't sum up my life better right about now.
It was about a 2 and a half hour drive south on I-75 to Knoxville, about 160 miles. I didn't take the exit for Stinking Creek Road, though I was tempted, and given how my car smells, I would have fit right in. Oh, and I also heard Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry. Maura, if you're reading this, this song reminds me of you for some reason. Did you love it in high school or something? (Don't you get fresh with me.)
When I arrived in Knoxville, I scoped out Soneca's school and then a place to do some work on my computer. By the way, Soneca's real name is Helio Moreira. Soneca is a nickname that means "sleepy" or "nap." Check out the pictures below and you'll see that he does look a little sleepy.
As my high school English teacher, Mr. Hutchinson, would say, holy cats. I am as busy on the road as I ever was on my busiest day at work. I don't have any time to read the paperbacks I brought and planned to knock off and give away (thereby lightening my load a little at a time), look at my BJJ notes, or read my new Jiu Jitsu Unleashed book by Eddie Bravo. For example, today I responded to emails, wrote postcards, got directions to Soneca's place, posted the blog entries I wrote earlier this week, talked to my lawyer to make sure the money from my condo sale went into my account (it did--hot damn!), made a few phone calls, forgot to make a few others, drove to Knoxville, trained, found a hotel, and now I'm here. And I have a huge list of other stuff I didn't do but would like to. The difference, I guess, is that this is all stuff I want to do. So it's fun!
My hotel has wireless, so tomorrow I'm gonna stay here till checkout and work on my website and other stuff. Then I'll head to Nashville to train. Gotta call over to the school, Nashville MMA, to confirm the class time, find directions, repack my suitcases (things are already getting messy in my trunk), decide how far to drive on Sat, find a place to watch the UFC, etc etc!
Class with Soneca was terrific. He was so welcoming and introduced me around to all his students and wouldn't take a mat fee (which usually pertains when you visit a school). The title of this post refers to one of the instructions he gives when explaining a guard pass. I described the details of the class in my training journal (another to-do item: fix the link to the training journal!); it was an amazing class that gave me lots to think about. I was really frustrated that I didn't remember all of the details of the techniques he showed, so I bought his DVD (he gave me a discount!). And then I remembered that I don't have a DVD player. Well, I'll put it in the same place as the refrigerator magnet and then eventually I'll be able to use both of them.
Soneca had very kindly offered to let me stay with him and his family while I'm in town, even though he has a 2-month-old daughter, which must be incredibly tiring. I saw pictures; she's really cute. He also has a 4-year-old boy, also very cute. It turns out that he is driving to Chicago tonight, so he couldn't let me stay with them. It's fine for the children reason and also because I've had a little time to get some stuff organized (and didn't have to share banana bread, which I would have felt compelled to do).
He had changed out of his gi by the time I asked him to pose for a picture with me, but as you can see, he is a bad ass. And the funny thing is that even if he really were trying to choke me for real, I would still be happy about it. It was an honor to train with him! In the other picture, I am sweaty and soon to stink up my car with my workout clothes. Thanks to Soneca and his students for a great class!