Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Lucky

I'm lucky to go train BJJ at a gym with an understanding instructor. Most of the time, I am pretty easy to deal with (I think). But there are certain times when I'm not. Very specific certain times.

Boys, you may want to stop reading now. I'm just sayin'...

Anyway, I cried in class on Tuesday. I was crying because I was frustrated with my inability to do anything remotely correctly. I was just getting flat-out owned. After three grapples, I was almost in tears. By the time I got to the wall, the almost disappeared and the guys had a full fledged crying mess on their hands. I tried to keep it quiet, putting my head down on my arms. But everyone knew I was crying.


What is funny is that I also got owned the night before and it didn't bother me at all. In fact, I was laughing while one of my grappling partners knee-barred me for the umpteenth time in a row. So why couldn't I keep it together on Tuesday?

Come on, do I really have to say it? Aunt Flow came to visit. Or, her visit was pending, I should say. Whatever. I was an emotional basket case.

The hard part is that, I knew rationally that I was crying for no reason. I knew that I was only crying because of Aunt Flow. But even knowing that, I still couldn't stop.

Fabio came over and sat down and asked me what was wrong. I told him I was just being stupid and that I was frustrated. He encouraged me. I went home. The whole thing was really embarrassing. I mean, come on. Crying?!?! There's no crying in Jiu-jitsu!

I hate it when my emotions get away from me like that. I feel like I'm "that girl", you know? The wimpy girl who cries when she gets frustrated. I don't want to be annoying or make everyone feel uncomfortable because I can't handle a couple of crappy grapples. I was even considering not coming to class on those days when I know I am an unstable time bomb waiting to burst into a weepy puddle of fail.

When I came into class today, I decided I was going to try to explain myself to Fabio. But before I could even really begin to explain, he stopped me. He told me he already knew. He has a wife and a mother. It's no secret to him how women get when Aunt Flow comes around. He said it was good for me to be in class and learn to keep going, keep fighting through my emotions and frustrations. It would make me stronger. He said it didn't bother him because he understands that it's just one of those things that happens.

I breathed a sigh of relief and had a great day of class. Just knowing that my instructor understands and doesn't hate me and my teary face makes me feel free to learn to deal with those emotions without the added pressure of worrying that I'm a burden.

I DO want to be able to handle my emotions without crying. Maybe I can just count to ten. Or maybe I can turn my tears into rage juice and own anything that touches me. Ok, that last one is unlikely. But, hey, I'll give it my best go.

I know you don't read my blog, Fabio. But thanks anyway for being awesome.


Georgette said...

I feel you, sister. But what excuse do the guys have? Many guys have (privately, even secretly) told me that they, too, cry at times. I feel much better knowing this. And it's not just one "type" of guy or another-- nor is it just close friends trying to make me feel better. I really believe these guys.

It's just jiu jitsu. There's a LOT of crying in it. It demands the highest, best, hardest, deepest from us. No wonder we cry.


Josh Kruschke said...

Why would you want to turn your self into or emualate the basket cases that is a guys emotional state. We tend to hold things in until we explode. The ability to emotionaly vent is a womans strength. Go with it.
Don't feel that because you thing bjj is a 'mans world', what ever that means, that you have to compete on a mans turms, take your strengths and run with them.

Dolph said...

Hey Allie - Long time reader, first time commenter.

I'm a guy who has more than once almost cried on the mat, and I've certainly cried after getting into the locker room. Being a guy, though, it's been when the LR is empty or in the shower. It's amazing how powerful peer pressure is even when you're middle age.

For me, it usually involves two or more of the following variables: (a) I go to the gym tired; (b) guys who are a lot bigger than me (I'm under 120 pounds) but there technique is crap; (c) newbies spaz out on me and cause a stupid injury (example: bending a finger back or slamming me on my head) - this is related to item b; or (d) it's just a day where I'm totally uncoordinated.

I can also say that - after being on my jiu jitsu journey for over seven years - those days aren't nearly as frequent as they used to be.

So hang in there and don't be too hard on yourself. And also know that it's okay to "call it quits" for the day if you've had enough.

Jiujitsunista said...

Wow, G. When you say it like that, crying seems totally acceptable. lol

fenix said...

Yes, yes... I've been to that same place. It sucks.

One night I left training and cried from frustration about my ineptitude. Then suddenly, I saw the funny side of it all and burst out laughing, with tears still rolling down my face. That's the first time ever when I felt like simultaneously laughing and crying. Bloody hell, what is BJJ doing to me!?

It's good to be able to let it out and I'm sure many a guy wishes he could. I do however, hate to "lose it" on the mat because I do not want to burden the guys with worrying about me. Locker room and car on the way home is fair game though.

As Georgette says, BJJ demands a lot from us. I figure that sometimes it's just that little bit more than we can take at that moment. As long as we come back and look it in the eye the next day, it's all cool!

You're doing great :-)

Liam H Wandi said...

I've never cried on the mat, but I've never thought it's such big deal if anyone needed to. I've always seen the arts as a way to face yourself and that has a big portion of catharsis in it. Whether you cry due to a hormonal surge or not, you are still you and you needed to cry so you cried. It's honest and true.

I'd rather see someone cry then come back the next session than someone go on and on about how great training feels then never shows up. I wouldn't judge them either way, but the latter I feel is a pity.

Meerkatsu said...

Darn I carried on reading ;P

Deborah Clem said...

Count me on the list of criers.

When I started BJ, I used to cry all the damn time, I mean after every class. And I was not sad, but the marriage of exertion and emotion stirs up the tears. Weird.

I still cry occasionally, and when I do, I feel a sense of relief, as if the overflowing dam has been stabilized and balanced. said...

I'm a cryer. Joshkie, that's just it - we hold the feelings in until we can't anymore. The rage juice wouldn't work for me because I cry when I'm really angry too. It just sucks, but finally, at 40, I'm learning to deal with it. At this point, I doubt I'll ever change. (Jen)