Get Out of Your Own Head.

Another great class last night!

I started off a little shaky and iffy. We drilled one technique that involved going from sitting to standing and then a counter to the first technique that involved a sweep. I really get in my head when I have to do things that require good mobility. If anything is going to make me feel fat and old and roly poly-like, it’s having to get up off the ground quickly.

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What can I say? I have a lot of drag in my ass. It’s big, it’s not always easy to lift, and sometimes I think it just straight up refuses to move in any kind of timely manner.

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In the end, once I got out of my head and quit getting so embarrassed at my struggle with mobility, I really enjoyed what we learned. I do feel like I’m getting a little bit better at moving with the momentum of my body, but sometimes I still drag and stall just enough that that last little bit to come up is a struggle. I’ll get there. With the continued work with mobility drills at home and more weight loss, it will happen. If I compare my mobility today with my mobility from a year ago it’s a big difference. So, I know I’ll get there if I keep working at it.

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Boom. Truth quote.

I’m slowly adjusting to this whole keto thing and ended up getting in four rounds of back to back rolling. I was really happy with that. Even happier that I seem to have my post-workout recovery down because I feel pretty good this morning. I mean I can definitely feel last night’s class, but that’s no surprise. That’s the morning after jiu-jitsu norm. I may feel like I was hit by a truck or two, but energy-wise I feel pretty great.

As far as rolling goes, last night was one of those nights that each round I could feel some progress and also walk away with a lot to process and learn from. It was just a great balance of being the nail and getting to be a little bit of a hammer too.

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For a solid year I was the by far the weakest of the bunch at SFC. That’s not even a little bit of an exaggeration. Physically, mentally, and skillfully I was a walking disaster. Still am a lot of times. However, it’s kind of awesome now that I can see how beneficial it was to go through a lot that I did, to see how those struggles and learning to fight to survive has helped build me into a better person in all those areas. It’s fun to finally get to do a little dominating and not feel like I’m the weakest and least knowledgeable person there.

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I ended up getting two submissions that I’ve never gotten before, an armbar from guard and an arm triangle. They were both on a newer white belt. I tried to work on things that I don’t get many opportunities to work on with more experienced people and I tried to not rush the submission and focus on getting each detail correct. It’s just an amazing feeling to finally be in a place where I can do that. Where someone else might be spazzing a little, but I can remain calm and move through the steps with the purpose of perfecting the details and not just rushing to get the submission. I feel like it was a really good learning experience for me.

I know, it’s not that most exciting or entertaining of a post, but I’m just really happy with where I’m at. I posted a short quote the other day on Instagram that is a perfect statement for how I feel right now.

Happy with where I’m at. Excited for where I’m going.

I’ve still got some head-case issues to sort through here and there, but I’m finding that I don’t get in my head so much in rolling like I used to. I can put my focus on learning and improving. It’s pretty amazing what can happen when we get out of our own way.

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Earned. Not Given.

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We both have crazy eyes in this picture. Mike with just a general “I will cut you into pieces and rub it on my skin” kind of look and me as someone who didn’t want to accept that eyeliner and sweat don’t mix.

When the above picture popped up in my “On This Day” app on Facebook it was a mix of emotions. A little laughter, a little WTF were we thinking, and whole lot of cringe. In the picture we are proudly holding onto our first “earned” belt at the McDojo we attended. What’s cringy, WTF-y, and humorous about it is that we were white belts for a whole three weeks. I’ll repeat that so you know it wasn’t a typo.

Three. Whole. Weeks.

We signed up, went to class, and three weeks later when “testing” came around we were told that we could go ahead and test since we seemed to be picking things up fast. We took it as a compliment and beamed with a “Fuck yeah!” kind of pride.

Fools we were.

It wasn’t our three week skills that charmed the martial arts master. It was the fact that he sees his students as dollar bills. So we tested paid $40 dollars each and in exchange we were rewarded our orange belts.

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At first we were kind of blind to what was going on and we were just excited each time we moved up the long line of 17 belt colors. However, if you have any kind of common sense eventually you start to catch on that you aren’t actually earning these belts. You are foolishly buying them. It always blows my mind how many people are either completely oblivious to what is actually going on or they know and have zero desire to be better people than that. We were just a few months shy of “black belt” (and I cringe even more when I type that out) when we said, “this is absolute horse shit,” and quit testing. Eventually that led to us wanting better for ourselves so we left.

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Looking back now, it’s absolutely ridiculous and I’m floored and ashamed that we didn’t catch on even sooner than we did. I guess we just kind of got caught up in racing to the next belt and the next belt and the next belt. You’re constantly told that you have to get your black belt and you’re basically a loser if you don’t. It turns into a sad little race towards make believe black belts that are monetarily worth the unfortunate thousands of dollars you paid in stupid testing fees and on an deeper, emotional, personal growth level they are absolutely worthless.

One of the biggest wake up calls I had with this place was when a woman walked in and asked if she could buy a black belt for her grandson’s Halloween costume. They sold it to her for $20. I couldn’t believe that this belt that we are suppose to be busting our asses to get could be bought for a costume for only $20. It just seemed so disrespectful to those of us that were paying out the ass and putting in the so-called work. It proved to me exactly what they are focused on. In hindsight, it’s so fitting. They are purely a costume shop disguised as a martial arts school and that black belt is nothing more than a useless, unearned prop.

Do you know how long I’ve been a white belt in BJJ? Almost two years.

From what I’ve seen online, it typically takes 1-3 years to get your blue belt in BJJ. Some get it faster, some take even longer than 3 years, but the average seems to fall between 1-3 years. If we are going by that time table, that means my husband and I are getting close. If we are going by how I personally feel about my skills, eh, maybe not so close. But here’s the cool thing, neither one of us is really that hung up on when we will get it. We are definitely excited at the thought of it, but we are no longer in a rush to get the next belt. Over the last few years, thankfully, we have been fully stripped of the foolish brain washing, participation award-y, everyone wins, “cult” type of atmosphere.

Today, we are only interested in getting what we have earned.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t think about the belts at all, we just take a different approach to it.

For my husband, Mike, the experience with the belt factory we went through made him shift his focus from belts and stripes to more on the experience and improvement. I see it as his mindset being after going through all that bullshit of unearned belts and now being at a place were nothing is just given and you have to actually earn your belt, why worry about when you get it. You’ll get it when it’s right and when you are meant to. He’s always had a much more relaxed and “it will happen when it happens,” approach to life.

For me, I tend to be a person that focuses on goals and completing tasks. I like having something that I am working towards. Each month I fill out a calendar with my goals and important tasks that I want to complete. Each day I write out a to-do list. I even have a jiu-jitsu to-do list and I study and drill at home every single day. I like having a visible goal to work towards. The word “like” is actually an understatement, I thrive when I have specific goals. So naturally I see my blue belt as a major goal right now in my jiu-jitsu life. From day one my ultimate goal was to be the second girl to make it to blue belt at SFC.

So, long story short, this picture reminded me of how far we’ve come and how I would much rather it take a lot longer to reach a goal when it’s genuinely earned. I think now what we are most excited about concerning belts is that out of the 16 belts we’ve worn around a gi, our BJJ blue belt will be the first one that we have actually earned and had to put in the real effort for. I’m excited to see what that experience feels like no matter how close to or far away from that moment we might currently be.

Earned. Not given.

And, the price we paid was not a fee, it was through pain, heart, effort, persistence, dedication, lots of bruises, determination, discipline, and just good ole’ hard work.

That’s the only way it should ever be.

Keto Neat-o.

I have a love/hate relationship with carbs.

I love them. I want to be best friends with them. I want nothing more than to be carried away in a riptide of pasta, potatoes, and bread.

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They hate me. They make weight loss extremely difficult and super slow for me. They create an unbelievable craving for all things carbs that makes it so much harder to stay on track with my weight loss goals.

So we broke up.

After noticing that one of the coaches at SFC had lost some weight, my husband asked him what he was doing.

“Keto,” he said.

“Oh shit,” I thought to myself, “I forgot all about keto!”

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A few years ago Mike and I started eating “keto.” We were at a point where we both realized we needed to lose some weight, but just a typical clean eating, healthy diet wasn’t exactly working for us. He’s got an extreme addiction to sweets and I’ve got a pretty extreme addiction to carbs. The bad thing with a typical healthy diet is we eat carbs and our cravings go through the roof. It just feels like we are in constant battle with our bodies and our cravings. Mike suggested we look into keto and I admit I was skeptical, but we decided to give it a shot. This is when I lost the first 40 lbs and for the first time in my life I wasn’t craving carbs.

I don’t want to say it was easy to lose the weight, but it kind of was. There is definitely an adjustment period with keto, but after a few weeks I felt fantastic. The weight seemed to come off almost effortlessly, I was loving the food we were eating, and my carb cravings were gone.

So, why did we stop eating this way?

Jiu-jitsu.

I was having such a hard time recovering after class. The next day I was almost a zombie. I felt completely drained of all energy and was really struggling to get stuff done throughout the day. It was brutal some days and extremely frustrating because I love being productive and gettin’ shit done. Everyone and everything I read told me I needed carbs and so I gave up keto and started including more carbs into my diet.

On the plus side, I was able to maintain my 40 lb. loss, I recovered after jiu-jitsu so much better when I had carbs in my diet, and I did have some more results beyond the original 40 lb. loss, but holy moly it was a lot harder and I had to fight my carb cravings constantly. What sucks most about those cravings is that you are almost constantly fighting with yourself and if you have a vulnerable moment it is bye bye willpower, hello pizza. At least that was the way it was with me.

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After seeing keto results on someone else, it inspired me to give the whole keto lifestyle another shot. But, I knew that I was going to have to better educate myself and look into how to eliminate carbs and keep the ability to both fuel a hard workout and recover after. I found a few places online that suggest keto may not be good for those that do jiu-jitsu, but thankfully, I found a lot of people out there on the interwebs that do both successfully and found a lot of advice in regards to energy and recovery.

I get that the key to successful weight loss no matter the eating plan is consistency, but I also think that it’s about finding the right plan that works for you and your body. Who knows what’s best? I certainly don’t. Low carb, high carb. High fat, Low fat… There are so many ways you can approach weight loss and there definitely isn’t a lack of information on the subject. All I know is that the first time I did keto I lost 40 lbs and since I quit doing keto I’ve done nothing but struggle with my weight loss.

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Yesterday for lunch I ate the most amazing mac & cheese that substituted cauliflower for the pasta. It had almost 60 grams of fat and was amazing. I mean cauliflower doesn’t taste like pasta, but really I didn’t care. It was the flavorless vehicle for the part that mattered, the deliciously fat-loaded cheese sauce.

I’m hoping that getting back to it will help with the remaining 40 lbs. that I have struggled to lose. So far, so good. Two days in and 7 pounds down. However, the beginning is always so rough as you go through what is known as the keto flu. I studied up on how to help with the sluggish, poopy feeling as your body adjusts to eating a low amount of carbs and so far it’s been okay. Slight headaches, a little tired and slow going, but for the most part it’s been okay.

That is until I did jiu-jitsu.

It’s almost embarrassing to say it…I rolled one round. One freakin’ round and I was done. Done. Done. Done-zo. And, I was done about midway through the round. I was so tired that I started stalling in positions, not really going for anything, and basically letting my partner do whatever. My son took pictures and I look like death in each one. I had zero energy. Afterwards as I was putting my gi in my bag I thought I was going to pass out and had to sit down on the floor. It was crazy! I’ll be glad when this stage passes on and my energy is good again.

I’m looking forward to seeing if I can handle keto and jiu-jitsu together. I feel pretty good today so hopefully I’ve got the right balance to handle both together without sacrificing my energy and how I recover after a hard workout.

I’ve just struggled so much with the last 40 lbs. and I feel like it’s not always for lack of trying. It feels like my results don’t always reflect the effort, you know? It’s just crazy to me how different our bodies can be and how we react differently to different foods. I know someone that can live off of fast food and carbs all day with minimal exercise and they still weigh substantially less than me. I can eat a typical healthy diet plus strength training and jiu-jitsu and struggle to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

Weight loss is so hard and sometimes so frustrating! Keto, I’m counting on you! Don’t let me down!

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Mmmm. Bacon.

 

The Little Moments

Great, great class last night. I love it when my posts start like that!

Last night was a great reminder that in jiu-jitsu, and I guess just life in general, it’s the little moments that count. I mean the big moments are great and obviously memorable for a lifetime. Winning gold at a tournament. Your first submission. Earning your next belt. But, the little moments are what carry you through to those big moments and build you into the person you are. Sometimes they are easy to forget moments, but they are important too. They make the journey, you know?

Blah. Blah. Blah. Life. Little moments. Big moments. Live. Laugh. Love. Insert cheesy life quote here.

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I know. I know. Bare with me.

I’ll give you an example. My job as a “professional” scrapbooker (doesn’t that sound super cool!) forces me to look at and document the little things in my life. Of course I document the generic big things like birthdays, Christmas, the first day of school, etc. But, the pages I make and the stories I write that always end being my favorites to relive are the ones about the “little” things in our everyday, normal lives that are sometimes easy to forget as we grow older.

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Like how my oldest son Drew used to say “snissors” instead of “scissors” or how he started calling his after-bath, wrinkly fingers “raisin gangers.” How Jackson went everywhere for a solid 2 years of his life with a backpack full of cars or how he can never eat a meal without getting it from ear to ear on his face and be completely unaware. Or the many, many hours we would spend as a family, hanging out on the trampoline in our backyard looking at the stars. Those little details made our life great.

The little details make jiu-jitsu and the total experience of it great too.

Here is a recap of the little things that stood out from last night:

• Feeling super awkward and struggling with the technique we worked, but between the help from the coaches and lots of drilling, I finally got it just right on my final try.

• Getting the opportunity to put into action the guard pass I’ve been working on at home and almost executing it. Just one little step I didn’t get quite right.

• Being able to channel my energy into finding where I failed in that guard pass instead of getting frustrated with myself.

• Escaping a straight ankle lock by shoulder rolling and, bonus, locking up a triangle when they sat up.

• Having a black belt see it and call out, “Nice, Allison!” across the mat.

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• Escaping a triangle using a recent technique we learned.

• Learning a new detail to help escape an omoplata.

• Using that new detail in the next roll and finding success.

• Being able to use a new tip/detail I got from someone on Tuesday and realizing how effective it is. It made my ability to re-guard so, so much better.

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• Timing someone’s bridge and stepping into mount at just the right moment.

• Getting a submission.

• Having a lot of fun rolling and chatting with another girl that I’m so glad walked into SFC. She’s great. Nice, tough, enjoyable to talk to, and a lot of fun to roll with.

• Sitting there at the edge of the mat realizing what a great environment SFC is and what a motivating, strong, just all-around terrific group of people go there. I just love it!

Chances are, in a few weeks, I won’t remember any of these little moments and small victories. They will be long gone and replaced with a new set. However, these little moments are what push me through and make the journey so enriched. It’s the like the peanut butter in the ice cream. Sure peanut butter is great alone and ice cream is great alone, but you put them together and it’s bliss.

*If you don’t put peanut butter in your ice cream, you are dumb. Sorry. Just sayin’. It might soften my blunt meanness a little when I tell you I was blind to the amazement of peanut butter ice cream until I met my husband. Now we don’t do ice cream unless there’s peanut butter involved. It’s even better if there are brownies too…

I’ll pass along the best advice I got from someone that helped me tremendously throughout the last year and half…

Find the victories, no matter how small.

That one little statement changed everything for me and it’s become something that I preach often in my posts. The first year of jiu-jitsu is so hard. I mean we are talking like one of the hardest things you can ever put yourself through physically and mentally and if you can’t train yourself to find the small victories, you’ll never survive. Or you might, but it’s going to be a lot rougher of a journey than it needs to be.

Take the time to enjoy and reflect on the little moments. It really does make the journey that much sweeter.

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Zoning Out

Do you zone out after class?

I do. A lot.

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The drive home my husband and I might be a little chatty at first, talking about the good, the bad, the ugly moments that really stand out. Finally getting a submission, surviving a little longer with a brown belt, messing up an escape, an accidental fart when someone did knee on belly… (I’m not going to tell you who did the last one, but I will tell you that their name rhymes with shmike and not shmallison.) But, eventually the closer we get to home the quieter our car gets. The mistakes I made start to sink in and I play them over and over in my head trying to land on a solution for the next time I encounter that problem. Sometimes I get really frustrated at the dumb mistakes I made, the ones that I know how to avoid or escape, but instead in my white belt-ed-ness I ended up making some sort of stupid mistake.

I mean, white belt? Come on, stupid is just what we do, right? It just kind of goes hand in hand. White belt = stupid mistakes. Know it. Accept it. Keeping chugging forward.

There are times that I am so zoned out that one of my kids can talk to me and I don’t even hear them. They have to say, “Mom. Mom! MOM!” before I realize they are talking to me. Do they not realize that I would much rather try to figure out how I messed up that armbar escape than hearing that your brother looked at you and you don’t like it or that you don’t want to do your chores.

Moooommm! He just – dammit Allison – looked at – you should have kept pressure – me with a really – while pulling your elbow out – mean face – instead of posturing when I – and I think you should – jerked my elbow out – take away his phone – why did I rush that – but I don’t want – next time I need to – take out the trash – remember to be patient – when it’s dark outside – keep the pressure – it’s scary and I don’t – and do multiple small jerks  – want go by myself – to get the elbow out – will you go with me

Sometimes I think that the challenging and puzzle-y nature of jiu-jitsu is going to be so great for making my brain extra strong and sharp. Then I have moments like the one above. A mixture of deep thought and self- examination intertwined with Mr. Preteen Mcturdpants sass and the classic younger sibling “it’s not fair” syndrome and I think eventually I’m going to become overloaded with information via my poor ability to multi-task and my brain will ultimately turn to mush.

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And, it’s not just kid’s that interfere with my deep, jiu-jitsu reflections. Just simple everyday tasks become difficult to complete. My ability to perform normal functions is hazy in a cloud of jiu-jitsu formulas and fuck ups and “Dammit why did I do/didn’t do that!?”

Last night I was so zoned out I stood there filling up my glass of water via the water spout on our fridge, thinking about where I’m going wrong with the guard pass I’ve been working on when suddenly water is going everywhere, overflowing out of my cup and raining down on my feet.

I was Z-O-N-E-D-O-U-T.

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Even this morning as I sit here and write this I find myself drifting off in thought to the mistakes I made last night and what I need to work on. I’m filled with an anxious desire to get in more rounds so I can figure things out and fix the mistakes I’ve made. I don’t think Saturday open mat can get here fast enough!

Sitting here, with my thoughts all over the place, bouncing between what I want to write and what I did/didn’t do in class last night, one thing I am sure of is that I really like where I’m at jiu-jitsu-wise. I can feel progress in almost every roll, even if it’s a tiny “I lasted 30 seconds longer with that person than I usually do” and I am becoming more and more unafraid to put myself out there and test my weaknesses.

All in all, I had a fan-fucking-tastic time last night in class. After each roll whether I got my ass kicked or not, I was just happy. Just feeling really strong mentally and having a great time. Five rounds of rolling and I didn’t get a single submission. In fact, on average I was submitted about 3 times per roll. A year ago, that would have had me so defeated and frustrated. Today it might still be frustrating to an extent, but definitely not defeating. I definitely had some small victories in there and I feel like I learned a lot through trial and error.

It’s nice to be here mentally. It took so long to get to this point. So freakin’ long. But, it’s nice to go from spending my after class zoned-out time figuring things out instead of beating myself up.

I wish more people could realize just how amazing and rewarding jiu-jitsu is. If you can get past that rough beginning and realize the potential within yourself by just digging deep, persisting, and making commitment to always show up…

it’s so worth it.

Hands down, jiu-jitsu is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

 

 

 

 

A Timeline of a Triangle

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Last week in class we drilled a triangle escape and it got me thinking about triangles. I know, I know. You are probably thinking how did she make that leap, right?

Dammit, I’m a sarcastic bitch sometimes. Or all the times.

From the get-go I developed a love/hate relationship with the triangle choke. I love it because it’s classic BJJ and, come on, you are choking someone with your legs. What’s not to love about that? I hate it because I have short, thick legs and sometimes this makes triangles feel impossible with certain big-shouldered *coughMikecough* partners. If my partner has boulder shoulders, I think a triangle hurts me more than it hurts them.

Drilling the escape made me think about the progress I’ve made with going for triangles in live rolling and how long it’s taken me to get where I am. Jiu-jitsu is no-joke, legit hard and this timeline of triangle experiences can prove that.

*Keep in mind, this is kind of a rough timeline. I can’t vouch with 100% certainty that my time frames and details are completely accurate. I tried to lay it all out as best as I remember.

• Month #1

One of my first classes involved triangle chokes. We learned all the details and I remember being absolutely floored by just how much detail goes into this one technique to get it right. As a long-time MMA fan I’ve watched people do triangles with ease and make it look like a walk in the park. I quickly discovered that they are a lot harder than the professionals make it look. I accepted that triangles were probably not going to be my first go-to.

• Months #1-6

I spend the bulk all of my jiu-jitsu life during this time surviving and trying to defend. I can probably count on one hand the times I actually got to be on the offensive and attacking someone else and when that actually did happen it was almost always a fluke and rarely lasted long. In that time we drilled triangles several times, but I never actually came close to a point of going for one in rolling. I felt super uncomfortable and lost with playing any kind of guard so I basically avoided my back as much as possible. Those first few months of jiu-jitsu were rough. I was in my head so much and my progress was super, super slow.

• Months #6-9

Somewhere in this time frame I really started to notice a difference in my mental strength. I wasn’t in my head near as much, I wasn’t as nervous, and I was getting a little better at putting myself out there more and trying new things. Even though I was improving, I don’t believe I ever even had a chance to attempt a triangle. Survival was still the name of my game, fo sho.

• Months #9-12

I start to see a lot improvement in my guard passing and I was starting to become more and more comfortable with my top game. I knew that I really needed to start putting myself on my back more, but I was afraid too. I was afraid of getting smashed and just avoided it as much as I could. If I ever did end up with someone in my guard I would grab their collar and then basically freeze in fear. I would hesitate to go for any submission and especially a triangle. I maybe, maybe went for one, possibly two triangles. Each attempt was sloppy, slow, and in that moment I would hesitate and struggle with remembering the details. Each time my partner quickly escaped and passed.

• Months #12-15

I start putting myself on my back and hunting for submissions instead of freezing up. I try to start working on getting one of my partners arms back and getting my legs locked up. I find very little success. Very, very little success. Anytime I go to lock it up, they escape and pass almost immediately. I find myself getting frustrated that I can’t lock it up and keep them there so I start evaluating what happens when I’m stuck in a triangle and what keeps me from being able to escape.

• Months #15-18

I start playing around with spider guard a lot. It was kind of a fluke that I started trying it, but I found that I liked the distance it gave me and how it was teaching me to move my hips around more. I find that it can be a great set up for a triangle and I start going for them a little more. The best I can get is getting the arm back and getting my legs locked up and keeping them there. I also start drilling triangles at home with my grappling dummy, Phil, which feels similar to drilling with a drunk, half passed-out person. Not saying that I have personal experience with that. I just find myself sometimes looking at my crumpled and limp partner with disgust and wanting to shout “Get your shit together, Phil!” every time I try to drill with him. I really shouldn’t think such mean things of him. He’s really helped me a lot over the last few months.

• Months #18-present

I am getting better with spider guard and understanding how to use it to set up triangles. Triangles have become the submission I now hunt for. I try to put myself on my back almost every roll. I have gotten to the point were I attempt a triangle in every roll I can. I am getting better and better at getting the arm out and my legs locked up. The next step to conquer is getting the arm across and I struggled for a bit with that. I felt like I was trying to use my strength against a man’s strength with little luck. Thankfully, someone shows me how to get the arm across and I start having success with it, but still can’t seem to get the next step, grabbing my leg, putting the foot in the hip, and cutting the angle.

• Last night

Last night I attempted several triangles. More than I can even count. I made a ton of mistakes, but I found that I was starting to search for different opportunities to lock one up. I used spider guard a few times to help set it up, but my favorite was going for an armbar from mount and when they went for the escape, immediately pulling them into a triangle. I got the closest I’ve ever gotten to getting the submission, but being the dumbass white belt that I am, I messed it up. The 30 sec. timer went off and I was afraid I was going to run out of time and got a little excited and rushed the details. I didn’t quite get a good enough angle and I should have shoulder walked out a little. I’m pretty sure I would have gotten the tap if I hadn’t missed those steps. It was a weird mix of feelings afterwards. I was so happy that I had at least gotten that far with a triangle, but so frustrated that I messed it up.

So, to sum it all up, here I am almost two years later and I still haven’t gotten a single triangle submission. I went from sucky-white-belt-who-doesn’t-know-shit to sucks-a-little-less-white-belt-who-still-doesn’t-know-shit-but-kind-of-knows-some-shit. Maybe a more positive angle would be from not even close to almost.

Jiu-jitsu is so freakin’ hard.

This is one submission. One out of how many? A bajillion? One submission that I learned at almost day one and here we are and I still can’t get a submission in live rolling with it. Now, granted, I have been a bit of a casual triangle user. I told myself early on that I wouldn’t probably be big on triangles anyway because of my short, thick legs. Maybe if I had been relentlessly pursuing triangles and made that my ultimate submission goal, I would have gotten one by now. But, the deal is, we all have our favorite submissions and different ones we pursue and attempt at different times in our jiu-jitsu lives. And, I’ve spent so much time just trying to simply survive that even getting to a position of attempting a triangle didn’t come into play for a really long time.

One thing I can see now after writing out this post and detailing my path to getting a triangle submission is that I don’t ever want to say I can’t do something or put any kind of limits on my jiu-jitsu. Sure some submissions are going to be easier and some are going to be harder depending on my strengths and weaknesses and shortcomings. Some will just click and others with take lots and lots of work and time.

But, I’m discovering that I shouldn’t let the word impossible or never make it’s way into my head. If I’ve learned anything with this timeline, it’s that with a lot of effort, hard work, and persistence, it’s pretty amazing the things you can accomplish. I love that jiu-jitsu continually shows me that.