Got over myself
Okay, I have put things back in perspective and am going to compete on Saturday. I have been convinced by a lot of things/people to relax, including and especially Eben, who, when I said I was anxious about competing because it's a big tournament, said, "So?"
Good point. And I just realized that this is the ultimate pinnacle for my trip. I packed it all in 4 months ago to drive around training Brazilian jiu jitsu, and competing in a world-class competition is the climax of the play. It doesn't matter what the outcome is, but you could argue that everything has been leading up to this, whether or not I realized it, and whether or not I can hang with the competition. Felicia and Cindy helped me with some last minute details today, and I sparred a couple times kind of hard tonight, so I'm feeling as prepared as I can be, and not as worried about my cardio as I was. I'm still kind of a chunk, but maybe it's better to be at the top of the weight bracket so I don't give up too much of an advantage there. I have convinced myself. Pass the gravy.
Anyway, I leave tomorrow first thing in the morning. I fly into Newark, stay with Rachel and her family in Princeton on Wed, Jennifer in Brooklyn on Thurs, and head to Wayne on Fri morning to meet up with everyone for the weigh-in and to check into the hotel. Jennifer's thinking she'll come with me to watch! Crazy. Part of me still wishes *I* was going just to watch, but a much larger part of me feels like my fate is tied up with this dealie. Imagine how cool my book is going to be NOW!
And I am so grateful to everyone who has been encouraging me, each in his/her own way. Some people said, "Fuck you! You're competing!" Some people said, "You're going to kick ass!" Some people said, "Do what you want to do and we will support you regardless." Some people said, "Listen up, jackass. If I have to do it, you have to." And the funny thing is that every one of those comments was helpful to me at the time. So thanks very much to: Johnny, Felicia, Cindy, Jimmy, Moike, Natasha, Wen, Rudy, Tony, Marcel, Chuong, Crystina, Chrissy, Anahi, Sean, John, Vince, Nora, Andrew, and, of course, Mom and Dad.
I went with Felicia to a store called Jiu Jitsu Pro Gear after she and Cindy helped me with some technique. We had lunch with the owner, Gilberto, and I got to meet Jacare and Bibiano Fernandez, two amazing BJJ black belts who came to town to go to the Pride Fighting Championships in Las Vegas and then train a little here in LA. I had met Jacare before, but didn't bother to remind him. I'm sure he has met tons of other people in his travels and wouldn't remember me. But he will this time, if only because I have a huge shiner. Gilberto is hilarious and gave me a commemorative issue of Gracie magazine that was basically dedicated to Carlson Gracie, Sr. (my teacher, and a BJJ legend, who passed away in February) for half price. Thanks, Gilberto!
I have hives. W? T? F? I'm pretty stressed out, I guess, between the competition and deciding my next steps in life, and I got some hives back in the spring when I decided to take the trip. At that time, some of my hair also fell out and my period stopped for two months (apologies if that's too much info--it just goes to how stressed I was). Well, that stuff happened again this time, though everything's back to somewhat normal now. The hives are still there, but everything else is okay. And no, I'm not positive they are hives, but they are some kind of huge wens that contribute to my terrific look these days. Oy vey.
So tomorrow Andy, one of the students here, is coming to pick me up at 7:30 to take me to the airport. I'll buy him breakfast and then he'll drop me off. Sean said he could get me on Sunday. I should get some sleep, but first, here are some pics from the tourney last weekend.
Me, Caren, Helen, and Diana. You can't really see the mouse under my eye, but it's there. It's always fun to get pics with ladies who do BJJ. A woman named Elise came up to me after my fight to talk about training, and I gave her info about how to hook up with the Team Estrogen forum.
Wen and Steven standing, then from left: Brandon, me, Ryan, Julius, Noman, Mike, Kim. I am distracted because it looked like the lady who took our picture was 1) falling off her chair and 2) aiming the camera at things that were not us. She didn't take a dive, and she did get everyone in the pic, so I worried for nothing.
Ryan, aka Ryangle, gamely preparing to give me a matched set of black eyes. He's totally got my back. Ugh, I look every one of my 36 years in this pic. I look ROUGH. If you look closely, you can probably see the hives.
Steven, Wen, Mike and Kim. Nice pic of great people.
Okay, better get some sleep! I'll be able to sleep on the plane too, but I want to think about technique at least a little bit. Plus, I'm wiped. Didn't get to sleep till 3 this morning and then had to get up at 6 to take Johnny to the airport for his flight. So, as the kids would say, I'm outtie.