I should be working, but this thought has been rattling around in my head all day– for two days, really. Or sleeping, come to think of it, I should be doing that. But I’m not.
I’ve done a lot of sports. I haven’t done many “team” sports, unless you count rugby and a little basketball (before I stayed short and everyone else grew), but I have been on a lot of different teams. In every sport I’ve ever done, I’ve trained hard because I wanted to be good at what I was doing. Being good at something was its own reward; I ran outside of rugby practice because I wanted to be the very best hooker I could be (for the uninitiated: this is a rugby position. Yes, really), I trained hard in swim practice because I wanted to swim faster than everyone else, etc. Regardless, I seem to have some kind of internal “go” button that lets me train hard.
Maybe it’s that internal, personal “go” button that makes me invisible to coaches.
I rarely get acknowledgment from coaches, good or bad. Maybe it’s because I seem to be able to make myself go without the outside encouragement; I’ve been a teacher, I’ve been a coach. I know there are students/players you can count on to work hard no matter what, and then there are the ones that are cheating on their push-ups the second you turn around. Some people are lower-maintenance than others. I know this, and I know I’m the former rather than the latter. I’m actually generally pretty okay with this, for a few reasons:
- I do what I do because I love it and I want to be the best, not for outside approval
- I actually subscribe to the theory of “if you cheat you’re only cheating yourself”
- “…and you’re better than cheating anyway, you have [xyz] to prove too…”
- “…and if you cheat you’re letting down your entire gender…”
- I have performance anxiety
- and finally, I can’t take a compliment very well.
But this general silence makes it really impactful when someone does say something. It means a lot when a coach takes the time to tell me that my form is good, or that I’m strong, or that I’ve performed well. I was having a hard time, but hearing “hey, you did well” helped more than I can really verbalize. And not feeling invisible in class? Getting adjustments and advice on how to fine-tune my game? I feel like I’m in a completely different mindset.
Another thing that someone said to me recently is “I feel like you haven’t been losing your fights because your jiu jitsu is bad or worse than the girls you’re fighting with, you’ve just been making mistakes, and that can be fixed.” I don’t know why something so simple has improved my optimism so much. My brain really wants to be an optimist, it just has this cynical, realist streak that is quite hard to squash. I’m working on it, though!
Please stay tuned now for something completely different.
Now, I’m not a black belt, and I haven’t choked out Clark Gracie, but I have something to say about this:
Magid are you… is that… yep, that’s a baseball choke from inside closed guard. Magid STOP PLEASE YOU HAVE A GOOD CHOKE BUT IT WILL NEVER WORK AGAIN IF YOU KEEP TEACHING IT TO EVERYONE ON MY FACEBOOK FEED
But keep the curls, they are lovely.