Right now, as I sit here with an empty beer on my right and a freshly-cleaned plate that used to contain eggs and veggie burgers on my left and my wife sits across the room listening to some music that I don't recognize but that makes me neither wretch nor smile, I find a few things surprising.
1) I started training jiu jitsu in February. Call it BJJ, call it Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu, call it whatever you want--that's not the point. It's jiu jitsu, it's hard work, and I can count on one hand the number of weeks in six months that I haven't gone to three or more classes. I remember growing up that my parents never let me quit anything. It didn't matter what it was, if I signed up, I had to finish. I didn't get it, but I have to look back and admire what they did. I have this bug inside me that wants to finish most everything I start. Brenna sees it another way; she thinks that I keep going because I'm good at it, and my skill directly influences the extent of my love for a thing. This might not be far from the truth; I am, like everyone else, more likely to enjoy something if I'm good at it. Also, it lets me work out the physical demons that I've been unable to exorcise on my bike or on the frisbee field. I'm hooked, and even though she's beginning to feel like a BJJ widow a few nights a week, I think she gets some benefits out of the deal. I'm tired a lot, and even though i go to sleep quickly and that might suck sometimes, I'm less likely to fight her on stupid shit, and that's a win for her. I'm in shape and happier, and thus easier to please in the general sense. That, and she now has something more to make fun of me for, be it the blatantly sexual undertones of the entire sport or the way Andy and I geek out about positional control and have to demonstrate why body triangles belong only on one side in the middle of our dining room. And I just re-upped for another 12 months. What.
2) I started this blog last month in an effort both to chronicle my own experience with jiu jitsu and to act as a cloud-based notebook so that I wouldn't forget everything that I learn in class. Since I started, I haven't missed posting after a class or rolling session. (To be fair, I think it's almost 3 weeks old, but that's a lot longer than my last chronicling attempt lasted.) I hope that more people than just Georgette and Andy read this, but it doesn't keep me up. The first links on the right hand side are: (a) my academy, Revolution Defense and Fitness---I train at the Woodbury location with Klint; (b) Dave Camarillo, whose jiu jitsu system Klint teaches me; (c) MMA Faestro, a truly great tutorial site that is not limited to MMA---they have almost all of Dave Camarillo's curriculum, a ton of BJJ tutorial videos from Leo Vieira, Cobrinha, and Paul Schreiner, not to mention the wrestling, striking, MMA and judo video tutorials (Klint started it, and it's really exceptional---if you're reading this and haven't seen it, give it a whirl); and (d) Mutiny on the Body, which is run by two Revolution students Gina (brown belt) and Brian (purple belt) who are quite possibly the toughest people I know. I doubt this is giving any of those sites more traffic, but if they get one more subscriber because of those links, I'll be happy. So what about this surprises me? That I've taken the time to make this appear like I want it to, taken the time to make sure the people I know are visible and advertised on my site, and that I keep logging in and writing.
[As you can by now tell, this is not my normal post re-capping training. Deal with it.]
3) OK, now I'm going to the re-cap of training. We worked on breaking down our opponent when we have him in closed guard, learned a triangle set-up off a fake sit-up sweep that I might have fallen in love with, and an arm crush from guard that I never really got the hang of but it might come in handy after a few drilling sessions. Sparring in class was good, I went with both Beard John and New John. It was a big class, so we only had two partners. After class, I went over the testing material with Beard John and Klint, then did some thread work with Vance and Ed. I've grown to really like the thread work that were doing, especially when I can use it in a live roll. I won't spend a lot of time rolling live this week, as I'll be using that time for review. I feel good, though, and confident enough to approach this belt test without being scared to fail. That doesn't mean I won't be drilling in my head as I go to sleep or shower. And Saturday I'm tentatively scheduled for a double at the restaurant (on call in the morning and working at night), so I might not get to try out my possibly-new belt until next week. That would kind of suck, but really, the money is going to pay for a new gi, so who can complain? At some point, I'll have video to post or pictures of training, but I don't have the technology right now, and so you're left with my own explanations that may or may not convey the entire truth.
You'll hear from me again tomorrow night. Because I have class, and that means that I have to tell both of you about it.