Labor Day weekend wrap-up
Friday was a good day: after dinking around on the computer, I met up with Parker and Emmee at Hollywood BJJ to train. We actually didn’t do too much actual training, but Apperson did a Q&A session where I learned how to recompose what’s called the half guard if your opponent turns his back. I get stuck in this position a LOT, and it’s frustrating. SPF showed me some cool stuff from the turtle too. Sadly, Donut the dog was at home. Then I showed Emmee a basic move called a scissor sweep. I think she had fun learning it, and I had fun teaching it. I thought a lot about how I was teaching while I was showing her, because I believe that purple is the belt level where you start to do more teaching. I know I’ve said it before.
Later in the evening, Parker, Emmee, Emmee’s daughter, and I went back to Isshin, the sushi place they go to all the time. Delicious! That may sound weird coming from someone who is allergic to fish, but I love the vegetarian sushi and they make it look so beautiful! They were out of the black sesame ice cream I had last time, so I had to make do with the tempura ice cream (green tea flavor).
And then Emmee and Parker very sweetly invited me to stay at their place. They knew I was headed to LAX the next morning (Saturday) to fly to FL to see my family, and their place is closer than John Ouano’s school. I took them up on it and we chatted until late—what an awesome couple! Then I fell asleep on their couch and when we woke up, I was off to the east coast and they were off to surf.
The weekend with my family was short but sweet. I got to see for myself how my mother is doing after her surgery and before her radiation, not to mention how my father is doing, being her stalwart support system (sometimes support systems need support too). And my sister, brother-in-law, and 2-year-old niece were there too. The only “person” missing was my canine niece, who was probably having fun at the kennel. We missed her, though.
I was actually in Florida for about 48 hours. The rest of the time I spent on various planes. But it was so worth it. My niece is starting to talk, and is continuing to be kick-ass. Among other things, she swam in the pool, ate a couple forkfuls of butter, and notified us all what day it happened to be. She’s very helpful to have around! And my sister and brother-in-law are two of my favorite people too. I feel really fortunate to have a family I actually enjoy being with.
I got emotional when I said goodbye, which is to say, I cried. I do that a lot when I say goodbye to my family. Part of it is because I’ll miss them, and lately part of it is because I’m still in all sorts of flux. I was thinking before I got there that I’m hoping to start getting some clarity on what I’m supposed to be doing next. The only “hit” I have is that I’ll probably extend my trip so that I end up at my parents’ place at Thanksgiving, which gives me about 2 and a half more months on the road. Maybe I won’t last that long, and maybe I’ll get an idea of where to land and what to do before then, but if I don’t, that will be a good plan. But the travel is starting to get to me a little, I think. I talked to my friend Natasha today and got a little envious that she was at home washing dishes. Weird thing to be envious of, but it just reminded me that even though I’m doing this trip, I do eventually want some stability, a job that fulfills me, a family of my own. It’s kind of a roundabout way to get there, but it was the only thing I knew to do.
So in the meantime, I will just live each day as if it’s my last, because one day I’ll be right, as Breaker Morant says. Tonight that means sleeping on John Ouano’s couch again. And tomorrow that means training with TWO female black belts! I’ll also get to train with Johnny Ramirez, a black belt under John. We will all be at R1 Training Center, training with Frank Trigg and Ricco Chiaparelli, two big names in the field of grappling. That’s in the morning. Then in the evening I’ll train at John’s and call Rey Diogo, a black belt who was like a son to Carlson Sr. He and his wife (brown belt Tatiana) and their son live in LA and have a school there, so I will definitely go to pay my respects.
Okay, now it’s time to get some sleep. I still have to update my training blog with my visit to Jean-Jacques Machado’s and Eddie Bravo’s academies, as well as Hollywood BJJ. Maybe in the morning.