Sunday, February 23, 2020

Shark Girl's Big Learning #2: Jiu Jitsu Is Harder As a Small Person

Jiu jitsu is even fucking harder as a small person. 

I know what they say—size doesn’t matter. But let’s be honest. That’s a myth in just about any arena.

When you are tiny, everyone is bigger than you. Brand new white belts can muscle you. Brand new white belts freak out when they see you because you they are like, “Oh, damn! A 100# brown-belted, middle-aged woman creeping toward AARP eligibility. Damn! If she beats me my penis will fall off!” 

The other night a new small dude joined our gym. (Mind you, a small dude is still has about 35% more body weight than me.) I was partnered with him to roll. We slapped hands. Immediately he leaped on me like a starving zombie who has not seen quivering flesh since the Apocalypse. Or like Voldemort attacking Harry Potter.

Small Guy had no idea what he was doing, but he did it anyway. Well-muscled arms were flying. His torso was thrown at my face several times. I’m sure when the five minutes were up, he was thinking, “I survived a brown belt!” I was thinking, “I am so glad I do not have a broken finger or tooth.”

Staying safe is usually top on my mind unless I am rolling with one of a handful of “pre-qualified” people. If you have tips, tricks, or mindset tweaks that can help me here, I am all ears.

Wait! I promised myself I wasn’t going to complain about being small anymore! Oh, well, Screw that.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Shark Girl’s Big Learning #1: Jiu Jitsu is Fucking Hard

It's been just over four months at my new gym. I am still filled with self-doubt each time I suit up. But I have made it this far and it is time to take stock of what I have learned.

Image result for what I learned
Much of what I am going to say is not new or earth-shattering. It is mostly a reinforcement of what we already know—stuff it is good to be reminded of every now and again. Some of what I have learned is about what students need from their teachers, and it has informed (reinforced) concepts in my professional life as a teacher, too.

I have a lot to say, so my plan is to put it out in installments.  

Behold, Dear Reader, Installment #1: Jiu jitsu is fucking hard. 

Yes, you read me right, it’s fucking hard. Not flipping hard, not forking hard, not fricking hard . . . fucking hard.

Many of you are saying, “Yes, Shark Girl! That’s a good thing! It’s impossible to fuck without it being hard!” Well, to you I say, “Please! This is a family blog!” and “Maybe it’s time for you to get more creative in your personal life!” But, now I am off topic. Back to jiu jitsu.

Every time I think I have something down in jiu jitsu, every time I have felt that I was on to something or that I was gaining in knowledge or insight, I have learned that there is always more, there is always better, there is always something else, just beyond my reach. 

I work so fucking hard at jiu jitsu. Again and again I come back to the mat. I try something. I am humiliated. I come back. I try something else. I take notes. I make the same mistakes over and over again. I review notes. I see people better, younger, stronger, more talented, more [fill-in-the-blank] than I am, and I wonder why I put myself through this. Why do I press on in the face of insurmountable odds?
Image result for jiu jitsu is hard
(borrowed from BJJafter40blog)

Sometimes the answer, Dear Reader, is, “Jiu jitsu is a magical cocktail of kinetic connection mixed with nerdy undertones and street cred.”

Sometimes the answer is, “Duh, cuz I wanna be a badass.”

More often than not, however, the answer is, “I have no fucking clue.”

None at all, Dear Reader. No idea why I make my life harder than it has to be. I could be sitting home at night eating pretzels and chips, sipping herbal tea and watching Netflix. Getting my kids their dinner instead of wondering if and what they are eating and what mess I will cmoe home to. Correcting papers. Perhaps even stealing some precious “alone time” with Husband. But, no, I choose jiu jitsu. And it’s fucking hard.

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...