I put the “try” in triangle and I ended up with an after-almost-two-years-I-finally-did-it-angle.
Lame. The delivery of my news is so cheesy. However, let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on the fact that I finally got a submission via triangle.
I’ve drilled them over and over. I’ve drilled the basic fundamentals. I’ve drilled different set ups. I drilled and I drilled and I drilled and it finally resulted in success. I think one of my mistakes in my hasty excitement each time I would get a triangle set up was not shoulder walking when I needed to. I think that was the detail that solidified everything last night. It was such a fantastic feeling to finally get each detail, not rush it, and actually get the submission.
Yay! Triangles are fun! (If my high school geometry teacher heard me say that…)
I was so happy that I thought I was going to float right to the ceiling on a cloud of pure jiu-jitsu delight.
But then, I rolled a few more rounds and got absolutely destroyed. I mean the kind of ass kicking that makes you feel like you are back in week one. Just right back to a foolish, mistake-making-at-every-move, white belt. I even had a very brief moment of telling myself, “Why am I doing this? This is impossible.” It’s been a long, long time since I’ve felt that way. By the end of class I was tempted to take off the three strips on my belt and throw them in the trash because I was afraid that I didn’t deserved them. That if someone saw me roll they would call those strips a fraud.
Here’s where I get incredibly lucky though. Since my husband and I both train and we have about a 30 minute drive home, we always talk about the night. The things we messed up, the victories we had, the way we feel about certain techniques, etc. Last night when I actually voiced out loud that I felt like I super sucked and didn’t deserve my strips I was surprised to get a “me too” in return. If I was doing this alone, I might not ever realize that the defeating thoughts that creep into my head from time to time are pretty common. That we all go through a lot of similar ups and downs.
Just simply knowing that I’m not alone in that thought made me feel like we are on the right track. We aren’t experiencing anything out of the ordinary. We don’t suck anymore than anyone else did at this point in their jiu-jitsu life. It made me feel a lot better. We are right where we should be, doing the right thing, showing up, putting in the effort, determined to get better, and focusing on how to make that happen.
Maybe we are putting ourselves in tougher spots. Maybe we are trying new techniques and making more mistakes and having more failures. Or, as Mike suggested, maybe we are knowledgeable enough to see and understand the holes in our game more, but can’t quite execute the techniques correctly yet. Being in those three situations isn’t easy, isn’t always fun, and isn’t always the best at putting you in a positive mindset. At least not in that moment. But, obviously it’s such an important part of improving.
Little PSA moment: So, if you are new to jiu-jitsu or you feel like you struggle with feeling like you suck, I’m going to take it upon myself to tell you that you are not alone. I would bet that any negative thought you might have in regards to your jiu-jitsu is not anything new or taboo. We all go through the ups and downs and face many, many common struggles. Jiu-jitsu is so hard and that’s a huge part that contributes to making it so great and so rewarding. Hang in there!
I might have left class in a little bit of a funk, but by the time we got home I was cool with it. I accepted my reality and I appreciated the lessons I learned via ass kickings. I was thankful for new motivation, a new fire was lit under my ass, and I’m excited to work on and improve what I need to. I’m focused on the positive aspect of brutal ass kickings, the fact that the tough rolls will make me better. It was just a brief funk. I had no plans to unpack and live there.
And, in that funky fog, I almost forgot that I had accomplished something earlier in the night that took a lot of work and a lot of time to get right. In that moment that the one little tap happened, it made all the work and effort and struggle over the last few years so worth it.
So worth it.
Nothing worth having comes easy and when you finally get there nothing can compare to how amazing that feels. The hard is what makes it great. Remember that.