Friday, September 20, 2019

Shark Girl is Back. And She’s Bad.

I never thought anything could be more intimidating than starting Jiu Jitsu: walking into class every night as a white belt, knowing nothing, feeling lost, and getting tooled on by the regulars, who had spent years developing relationships, inside jokes, rapport, and techniques. And yes, they were all guys. Boy was I wrong.
       Try walking into that same gym as a brown belt.
       Yep. That’s me. My gym finally closed, a year later than expected. My coach awarded me a brown belt, years earlier than deserved, in my opinion. 
     And now I start from scratch. At a new gym. Where everyone knows everyone else’s name, but illogically, I am the highest belt other than the coach.
     Everyone has been practicing their style of Jiu Jitsu, so different from mine, and I’ve got to catch up. 
     Everyone has had real, serious coaching and goes to competitions. And I, well, I just love a good roll, hate being crushed, and have learned not to care much about submissions because sometimes they cause more trouble for a girl on the mat unless you have a real good relationship with your partner.
     Everyone expects me to be awesome and I suck.
     Everyone expects me to have something to teach them, and I don’t.
     I stopped writing posts a while ago because I felt this blog’s purpose was served. I started it as a white belt so many years ago, looking for support to go into that gym every night. I vowed to give it three months. You all, dear readers, kept me going and I fell in love. 
      Now I am back in the same spot, needing your help to walk back into a gym week after week. I have vowed to give it a year. Some nights I want to cry. Some nights I feel the bile creep up in my esophagus and my pulse quicken an hour before class. Of course, there are some moments of joy, too, but they feel fleeting and disconnected, overshadowed by everything else.
     Shark Girl is back. But she’s bad.

Shark Girl Is Ready to Pull the Plug on Her "New" Gym

I need your jiu jitsu therapy again, o vast and all-knowing readers.  About a year Before Covid (BC), my native gym closed down--the one whe...