Friday, February 18, 2011

Dealing With Tournament Stress

Throwing my stuff together to leave for NAGA today. Last time I competed, I remember feeling like I wasn't ready. I needed a few more months to learn this or that.

Do I feel ready now? Meh. I feel like I am a good blue belt. Not the best. Not jaw-droppingly awesome. But I believe in the skills Fabio and Ben have taught me and I am going to trust them when I fight.

I am not expecting to win. But I am going in with the intention of coming at those girls with all I have. My goals are to make sure that they leave the mat tired and that I leave having given it my all.

One thing that has been on my mind a lot coming up to this is courage. You may have heard the Mark Twain quote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”

I am not one of those people who looks forward to tournaments. Normally, I dread them. I spaz and obsess over them. But this time it has been different. I've had moments of panic, upwellings of fear. But I've been mostly calm. I am at the weight where I need to be.I've been focused on refining details to moves I am already good at, working on escapes, focusing on staying calm while I grapple. But I knew a month and half ago when I started preparing that my skill level would be about where it was when I started prepping by the time I went to compete. I am where I am. And I am ok with that.

Something happened when I went to watch my teammates compete at the Miami Open a few months back. I saw two of my most respected teammates lose. These guys are awesome. But they lost. And when they lost, the Earth did not shatter. The universe did not implode. No one lost respect for them or thought less of their skill. Life went on.

That really freed me up from the pressure I had felt the last time I competed. If those guys--who are way better than me--can lose and get away with it no one is going to blink if I lose. lol

So, instead, I am approaching this in a different light. This is an experiment. I am testing myself to see how my progress is coming. If I win. Awesome. If I lose. Great. Now I know where my weaknesses are.

I know I will feel nervous before I step out on the mat. But I am going to use that adrenaline to fuel me and give me superhuman abilities--like those women who throw cars off of pinned children. I am going to throw me some women! lol I am going to give them hell. And then I'm going to make friends with them afterwards. :)


Aparna said...

Good luck! You have a great attitude--you're going to do awesome.

Ashley said...

Awesome! Sounds like you're going to have a great day. Can't wait to hear about it! said...

Allie, I'll see you there - I'm stressing too. (jen)

Afrorican said...

Good Luck. Kick ass and have fun!!

Dev said...

Good for you. Good luck! You'll do awesome. Fueled by fear! :)

Can't wait to see the videos.

Unknown said...

It was great meeting you today. U did great today! Keep training hard.