Congrats to Ed, a setback, and a new gameplan
Ed is a black belt under Joe Moreira who has written a series of books on the guard: Passing the Guard, The Guard, and his latest, which just came out this month or last, Strategic Guard. I got to edit Strategic Guard for Ed, which was a great experience not just because I like to write and fancy myself to be pretty good at it, but also because I picked up dozens of useful tidbits on technique, theory, body mechanics, and the like. (Plus, my name is mentioned in Ed’s acknowledgments section). Strategic Guard is not yet available on Amazon, to the best of my knowledge, but you can go here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/104-9049634-7049527?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ed+beneville to look at his other books and get a sense of the kind of material he’s putting out. Good stuff! Congrats to Ed!
In other news, I had a minor setback on my quest for girly-ness. A friend of a teammate who was in town for the no-gi worlds in December apparently thinks I’m cute, but according to his friend, he was afraid to say anything to me because I’m intimidating and also because I’m very/too muscular. So that’s, um, useful information. I don’t even know the guy, but if he thinks that, then probably other people do too. Sean kindly reminded me that there are plenty of guys out there who like muscular women. He said I should think about the guy from well over a year ago who complimented me on my well-defined calves at a competition and, it turns out, is a fetish photographer.
Sean is a good friend. (To other people, I’m assuming. People whom he does not bodily lift into the air and then slam down with his elbow in their throat.)
So my planned excursion tomorrow with Becca couldn’t come at a more opportune time. She and I are going to go shopping in Santa Monica, and then do whatever else girls do when they are together. Maybe a chick flick, maybe a mani-pedi, maybe talk about our feelings over cheesecake and wine spritzers. Of course, we are both Zone-ing, so “cheesecake and wine spritzers” is likely to = “a Balance bar and seltzer water.”) I have been thinking that it’s time for me to start branching out and doing things socially beyond the 4 hours a day I spend at the academy and the time I spend at the store. And I like Becca a lot, so I’m really looking forward to this. LA is a tough city, and when you’re naturally a hermit, like I can tend to be, it can feel very solitary.
Especially when I’m spending a lot of time financing my grappling. I mentioned in a previous post that I’m getting bogged down in the mundane again, and I hadn’t even been back to CA for a week by then. I talked to Adamarie, who has done her share of turning her life completely upside down (she left Chicago, went to a monastery for 3 months to do some spiritual cleansing, drove around until she found Albuquerque, and just stayed), and we are both realizing that our lives now look strangely similar to the ones we left behind. Different scenery, different time zone, and, in my case, different work outfits, but the obligations and the concerns have slowly crept back to what they used to be. I think that’s why 1) I have been out of sorts lately, and 2) I continue to travel so much. On the first point, I didn’t do the things I did to recreate my old life in a new place that just happens to be that much farther away from the people I love. Yes, I get to grapple a lot more, and I have a lot more control over my time, but the sense of magic that I felt pretty frequently about my life hasn’t been present in recent months. And I miss it a lot.
On the second point, just this past week 5 people have commented on how much I travel. And it’s true. Maybe subconsciously I was trying to shake things up, or escape, or both. But I’m starting to realize that when I travel, I come back feeling even less like I belong here. It builds on itself, and it gets easier to leave, because when I get off the plane, I am with friends or people I love. Here, it takes effort not just to see the friends I have, but to find new ones. But I need to continue to do new things—here—if I want my life here to be different. I need to have a life here if I want to feel like I’m not just marking time till the next big revelation. Because waiting for a revelation is a sure way to prevent it from coming.