(ed. note: stole the title from Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN comic series; best story I've read and best storyteller alive.)
With the holiday weekend, we had only 5 people in class--me, Andy, Zach, Lisa, and Colin. We worked the straight-arm pass again, and ways to get around the standard counters that guys will use. It was good to revisit the pass after spending a few hours trying to implement it into my game last night. Noted the things I was doing absolutely wrong, hope to get those out of my system early. My chest is still tender, I imagine there might be a bruised sternum or something in my chest. Gotta stay out of side control for the next few weeks, keep working guard passing and maintaining guard for a while.
A few things caught my mind today. First, I've had a few rolls in the last few weeks that were the great, chill-but-still-working, "let's see what happens and how you would react" speed. I had another with Colin to start after-class rolls today. I don't know if that is what 50/50s are supposed to feel like, but I tend to leave those rolls feeling like I got something out of them, whereas I have some with blues and purples and more than a few whites where I leave and, having won or lost, I don't know that I will really take anything away from that roll other than getting some miles under my belt. I struggle to figure out how to have more of those rolls with more people. Part of it, though, is that it will probably help most with people who are more experienced than I so that I can get some feedback about things I did well, things I did poorly, etc.
Also, I find myself trying to create new muscle memory a lot of the time. As an illustration: last night and this morning, if I was trying to pass someone's open guard, I would find my body naturally trying to make my right leg pass over my opponent's left, putting me directly into half-guard and a dogfight. When I would cross over my opponent's right with my right from standing, I would never get the underhook correctly or get my hand placement quite right, and I would effectively give up my back. And it wasn't something that I was conscious of--so that means that my body is instinctively wrong. Which means that I have to create new instincts for it to follow. Which means hours and hours of conscious thought, rolling sessions where I don't lost concentration in a scramble. Having faster synapses. What would help most would be to have time to roll every day, find time to build that memory more than three times a week. That is highly unlikely, so I have to use the time I have well. And still study.
So it's a game. Balance--do the things you must, the things you can, and the things you love. Both in Jiu Jitsu and in general. And at the end of the day/memo/practice/roll, you're going to be exhausted and sore and love every bit of it.
On a personal note, one that I'm sure Georgette will echo: If anyone knows someone who is in their last year of law school, apologize to them. We have 9 more months of tedious and senseless class-work before we have to (re: are allowed to) take a wretched test that will qualify us to enter a terrible job market. And we can't blow it all off, because that would make our lives too simple.