I just found this post, which I wrote in my notebook. Funny how some things change. I am still as stoked as ever about training; I had a fantastic weekend of rolling and learning some techniques from Marcel (Brasa black belt Marcel, not angry, slanted brown belt Marcel) and Ouano that I’m really excited about. I am fortunate to be exposed to all kinds of useful techniques, and I try to incorporate them into my game, but sometimes, I learn something that just fits perfectly into a hole in my game without me having to think about how to make it mesh. Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t need to work at it, but it does mean that I see immediately how it fits and how to set it up. The things I learned from Marcel on Fri night and Ouano yesterday morning are those kinds of techniques. Thanks to them!
What has changed a little is that I’m only 4 days back in LA and already falling prey again to the day-to-day stuff. It’s making me cranky. I’m glad I found this post, because it’s reminding me to take the long view and focus on my new year’s resolutions for grappling, CrossFit, and my personal life. I don’t think I’ve written them here, but I have thought a lot about them and am committed to making them happen.
So here is a little reminder to me to stop sweating the small stuff.
Marcel said something once that's apt here: "Taking the back is easy. Keeping the back is difficult." The same could be said of maintaining perspective. It's easy to see what's truly important. It's difficult to act on that information consistently.
Wednesday, Jan 2, 2008
I’ve been sitting in a plane headed back to LAX from Philly for over 3 hours now, but we haven’t moved an inch. Problem with an engine part. Bummer. But they have fixed it and we’re on our way soon, or so they say.
So that has given me some extra time. I have used it in several ways. First, I’m thoroughly enjoying my last day of “carb blanche” before going back to normal eating habits, as the receipts for Baked Lays, peanut butter M&Ms, a blueberry muffin, and a prosciutto and mozzarella panini can attest. (I have a chronic headache and my heart is POUNDING. Hurts so good.) Second, I tried to get a little work done and do some emailing. The new semester and my consulting gig are going to start up pretty quickly upon my return, so I got some things in order. Some things I can’t take care of till I get back, but that will apparently be in about 5 ½ hours.
Third, and most importantly, I have been thinking about the new year. The clean slate. As Shawn, a brown belt friend of Anahi and Rick’s said while contemplating the salad bar when the four of us went out for dinner after ADCC in Trenton last May, “I’m in charge! I decide.” He was talking about romaine vs. spinach and bacon bits vs. croutons, but the premise is the same for my life. I have been feeling extremely busy lately. Some of it was the holiday crunch, and some of it was that I took on a bunch of new projects to finance my grappling (as I call making a living), and some of it was preparing for competitions.
But what I’ve been thinking about today and this past week is that I’m still in charge. As my life fills with more obligations, it gets harder to live mindfully. And I have it better than some, in that my time is pretty much my own to fill as I see fit, even now that I have to spend more time financing my grappling. And sometimes when I’m tired and stressed out, the last thing I want to do is listen to my inner voice, both because I don’t feel like I have the time to listen, and also because the ambient noise of the responsibilities I have taken on are drowning it out.
That doesn’t absolve me of the responsibility for doing it, though. (Here would be the place for me to insert a salad bar-related metaphor, but I don’t think I can carry it off without it sounding hackneyed.) If my goal is to lead a joyful life, which I claim it is, and which was the impetus for my journey (which started over a year and a half ago!), then I need to make the time and space to work at that. Because it can definitely be work.
But it’s worthwhile work, when I choose to do it. as an example, I am having a BALL training now that I have decided not to compete for a while, if ever again. (And to the peanut gallery who are grumbling about that decision, I have this to say: Too bad.) I look forward to training in a way I haven’t for a good while. I am spontaneously singing again, which is another thing I can’t help doing when I am happy but that has been conspicuously absent for too long. I’m eager to train hard, resume my CrossFit regimen after almost a week away, and to work on specific aspects of my game. I’m enjoying my passion again. It is a passion once more instead of a chore. As Julie would say, it’s like the flavor has come back into my food. And it’s because I made a tough and possibly unpopular decision, but one that’s based on what my gut has been screaming for weeks, and maybe months, now. Thank goodness I finally heard it.
PS: I have some fun pics from New Year's Eve, including Seph's transformation from normal t-shirt wearing guy before midnight to crazy American superhero in a wrestling singlet after midnight. I'll post them eventually. I'm sure we're all still reeling from the Giggyplata video and need to rest our eyes a while longer.