Thursday, April 12, 2012

trying to refocus. and riding out a bad day on the mats.

(yes, I know some consistency in posting would probably be nice)

after a really good three-day span of bjj (saturday, sunday, and monday), last night was the big comedown. got paired with someone who I'm still trying to decide what I think of. Was it spazzing? Not in the traditional sense, but the deviations from technique were obvious to me. What I wasn't so sure of was if that was in response to something I was doing or not.

I don't know. What I do know is I managed to get through three days of focused work without many aches or bruises. From last night, I'm now nursing a sore elbow (from forced armbars/twists) and neck.

But moreso, I'm nursing a seriously chafed ego. And also nursing this tendency to let one crappy day overthrow three good ones. That annoys me more than any bruise or soreness.

Had you asked me right after I came off the mats, I'd have told you that I was ready to take a lead pipe to the guy's noggin. I'd have sworn that if I ever landed an armbar on him, I'd break it. I was largely furious. I was also coming off the edge of a panic attack. Thought I had those under control, and I don't know, maybe I do. I didn't go full blown, just lost control of my breathing for a bit.

Went three or five times. The last three attempts I just got angrier and angrier. And of course, got completely out of my game (what game there is) and slid into she-hulk rage mode. Which always accomplishes so much. As time was called, I left the mat. When it's left me that mad, it's time to stop.

I shook off my gi top and noticed I was hyperventilating. Great, just what I needed, everyone to witness a full blown panic attack. Hell no. Instead I shut down, started focusing on just inhaling in a slower, controlled pace. Relaxed. Calmed down. To my surprise, it worked. Still, my nervous system was shot. Hit the showers, and left the gym, with little dialogue.

I had already crossed the street before the tears started (which always accompany my panic issues). Only maybe three. I refused to fall to any resurgent panic or self pity. Sure, I was still a little freaked out, and certainly still angry at my shitty mat time, but I wasn't ready to concede all to the tide of negativity and anxiety.

Into the truck, wincing as I reached for the seatbelt, neck already hurting... three miles later I came to some new conclusions:

  • working with that guy is going to do three things: make me better, make me meaner, and/or get me hurt. Two of those are acceptable. One isn't. 
  • I can't abandon my own game so easily. That guy rattled me off my plan, that's why I did poorly. I played his game, not mine.  I got rattled out of my game because I was more worried about self-preservation, and not getting hurt. 
  • I still need to work on my breathing, especially under pressure. I already know that anxiety can come into play any time, but pressure is obviously going to exacerbate things, and holding my breath will have a multiplicative effect on that. 
Not quite so conclusive is if asking this guy to dial it down a notch will work. I think working with him can only help me, but not if I end up getting hurt. I'm also not understanding how people don't know when they're applying injuring force.

hopefully this evening's class will be more productive.

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