Sunday, May 8, 2016

This (Shark) Girl Is on Fire

I went to a workshop where I pretty much sat for four days. Before dinner, I got a kick-ass run in at the hotel gym. But for four days it was an intense, cerebral experience. The night I returned was a jiu jitsu night. I kissed Husband and Kids lovingly, promised to catch up with them later, and then hurried off to class. I had already missed one class for this workshop, I didn’t want to miss another. And my family could wait a couple more hours to connect with me. They know my life priorities: 1) coffee 2) jiu jitsu 3) family 4) work. It was time for priority #2.
I love you, jiu jitsu, but coffee will always come first!

Sometimes, when I have been off the mat for a while, I gingerly step back on, worried I’ve lost all my accumulated knowledge. I tentatively tap hands, make excuses with an injury or how tired I am, and move my limbs like dead tree branches attached to my trunk.
Sorry, I didn't mean to scratch you with my legs!

Then there are other times, like that night. My head was a fog. I couldn’t retain two instructions that my Prof said. “Were we supposed to start in side?” “Did he wasn’t us to go twice?” But when it came time to spar, I was a hound unleashed, unstoppable. I moved around all obstacles, quick quick. My opponents had no idea where I was going next. My muscles had their own mind and moved without instructions from my head. Where was this coming from?
                It was a magical night. My favorite partner was a rag doll, moving the way I wanted him to, and when he didn’t, I just switched my position and complicated things again. I was having so much fun in my own little reverie that I almost felt guilty. I wanted to roll with Favorite Partner again, but was that fair? Was it fair to ask for a reroll because I was kicking his ass? I went easy on him the second time so as not to hurt his ego, but it wasn’t as satisfying.
Then, when I went with Prof, I could sense he was easing into the roll, trying to get a feel for where I was at that night. I didn’t give him a chance. I caught him in a choke before he even realized we had started.
I rolled with a few more guys and it was the same thing. I was water on a hot frying pan, dancing around and frustrating my opponents. It felt so good, but so bad at the same time. I was powerful, strong, accomplished and winning. And every time I flushed with pride, I thought, “I can’t do this to so-and-so. How does this make him feel?”
After Prof’s roll, he said, “Wow, Shark Girl’s on fire tonight.” I was. And when the class was done, I wanted more. But I packed my bag and went home, knowing that next time I wouldn’t have this same experience, and hoping it would come again soon.