Sunday, October 24, 2010

You Now Have Permission to Fail

This past weekend at the Miami International Open Tournament was AWESOME for so many reasons.

First and foremost, I love hanging out with my team. A few of us were talking on the trip down to Miami that BJJ must have some kind of addictive powers because most people who do BJJ are obsessed with it. We say it's a hobby, but actually, it's a lifestyle.

What amazes me even more is the way schools become like families. I've played team sports all of my life. Softball, volleyball, lacrosse and racquetball (yes...I was on a racquetball team in college. Yes that makes me nerdy. Don't be hatin'! lol). I've loved every sport I've played. But I have never been involved in a sport that has consumed me like BJJ has. Neither have I been on a team that was so close. We're all so different, but somehow it And I think that it's the same all over the place. Jiu-jitsu clubs are like second families. I wonder what it is about the sport that brings people into such close friendships.

At this tournament, I was a nervous wreck for all of my teammates. As soon as we walked in, my heart started pounding. I was taking video of everyone, so I was running around the gym from mat to mat, trying to watch everyone and screaming my head off in support. We had a lot of wins and some tough losses. Everyone did great.
My favorite guys/gals to watch were the ones who were competing for the first time. Let me tell you, they moved AWESOME!! I was really impressed.

The losses had a big impact on me, though not in an entirely negative way. Some of our best grapplers in the school lost matches yesterday. While I was either sad for the fact that they didn't win or pissed off at the ref or something, it was very liberating at the same time. These are guys who are way better than me. They can wipe the floor with me. But they lose too, sometimes. It was like someone was talking over a loud speaker saying: You now have permission to fail. lol

I talked to Fabio about it a little bit; about how I worry sometimes about disappointing him at tournaments. He said that a loss at a tournament doesn't mean anything to him. What means something to him is seeing someone who has the heart to go out and try. For some reason, at this tournament, that actually got through my thick skull.

Maybe the reason why it sunk in was that I had no pressure myself at this tournament and I could just enjoy it and learn. I could see the tournament without all my nerves getting in the way. Before this, I was pretty much forcing myself to do tournaments. Now, I am actually looking forward to the next one. The pressure is suddenly gone. I am sure I will still be nervous. But now I actually think it will be fun.

That alone made the trip completely worth it.

Some pictures from the weekend:

Got to meet Hillary Williams.

And also got to meet Cyborg. Watched him roll, too. Freaking awesome.


Georgette said...

It IS a lifestyle! It's almost cultish in a way :) And hey, I played on the womens' racquetball team in college too! (But I was just a C player. Haven't really played much since either.)

Congrats to your teammates and on meeting Hillary. She's sooooo kind. She's a great role model and mentor in the sport.


Dev said...

I didn't play racquetball in college. :) In fact, I have never really played any sport.

But GOOD FOR YOU for supporting your team AND learning something. :)

Now get healthy and get back on the mat.

Liam H Wandi said...

I agree completely. It's a lifestyle but it's on the right side off the cult-cut-off point :o)