Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fear Factor

I thought I had the terror thing under control. I thought after 5 classes, that I was okay. Not scared. Not me. For the first five classes, I was afraid that if I missed one, I wouldn’t return. But class #6? No problem. Or so I thought until about half an hour before curtain time. Then, a little flutter in the bottom of my belly. Can I really do this? I forced my mind to stop thinking. I went into meditative mode. Showered. Put on my gear. Paced the first floor. Went back upstairs to rub lotion into my dry legs and hands. Back downstairs and to the car. When I finally got to the studio, I did some deep breathing.
You know, I’m not afraid that someone’s going to crush me. I am scared to be so much out of my comfort zone. I have no idea what I’m doing. Where was I supposed to put that arm? Oh, the sweep won’t work unless the foot is placed exactly here? I’ve been told so many times, but can’t seem to get my body to remember. And I hate being the newbie that you know people are reluctant to pair up with, never mind the newbie girl.
I made it through tonight with minimal injuries. Just a tiny pulled muscle on my right side. I did clock one of my partners in the teeth. Hooray for mouth guards . . . I should get one of those.
They say it takes one month to habituate a practice. Next week will be my one month mark. Perhaps the fear will be gone then? I’ll keep you posted.

4 comments:

  1. It took me close to 3 months before I didn't have regular butterflies in my stomach before class. And I'll still randomly get them sometimes, closing in on 3 years later.

    I just made going to class part of my routine and didn't allow myself to think about it too much. Some nights, that was the only way to get back in there.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wow, what a memory you just brought back. I used to be terrified before class, but I kept going back! Totally agree with Leslie here, it takes a couple of months before you walk through those school doors with a full dose of moxie and confidence on your side. I used to cry after class, it was the weirdest thing. I was not sad or angry, but the new physical exertions became a breeding ground for strong emotional reactions. I think a few other women have experience this phenomenon.

    For the muscle soreness you are probably starting to experience: Epsom salt baths are fantastic. Epsom is the magic potion of all time. Blue Emu is a good muscle rub. I have had good luck with plain old Vicks as well.

    Train well!

    Dag

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I have no idea what I’m doing. Where was I supposed to put that arm? Oh, the sweep won’t work unless the foot is placed exactly here? I’ve been told so many times, but can’t seem to get my body to remember. And I hate being the newbie that you know people are reluctant to pair up with, never mind the newbie girl."

    Oh...I know I'm late to the party here but I just started BJJ last week (27 yr/old female) and this is EXACTLY what I feel like. Thanks to blogs like yours and some others, I'm just doing the best I can and hoping that with time and practice, I'll feel more and more at home with it all. I think it's SO much fun and I'm doing fine; I just hate feeling like the new kid, let alone the new GIRL, let alone the ONLY girl in the class. The guys are great; the few I've worked with so far have mostly been very encouraging and helpful but I hate feeling like "why would anyone want to partner with me when I don't know anything??" and wondering if I'm holding someone back when I run into the problems you mentioned above. I've only had 3 classes now so it's not unexpected that I'd feel a bit lost or behind. But damn...it's a hard feeling to handle! I'm thinking in a month or so I'll be a bit more settled in and not feeling so physically awkward with the moves (ie. where DOES that freakin foot go? and how the hell do I do it at the same time as this hand thing??)

    Anyway, thanks for the highly entertaining and inspiring blog!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome, Risus! I'm so glad you are having fun! I have a blast with it, too. It does get better once some of the core moves are internalized. I gotta tell you that sometimes still you can see smoke coming from my ears when new moves are introduced.

    Congratulations on your 3 classes! That's a milestone. Please keep me updated on your progress. I know, for me, part of this blog is not only that I'm the only girl in class, but there's really no one else to share with in the real world. Not many people want to talk about my intimate encounters with sweaty men. It seems, well, "unseemly" to them. : )

    ReplyDelete