Nothing to Lose

How would you feel going into a fight that you know you are probably going to lose? Would you still compete? One of my competitors at the upcoming tournament is my teammate Sara, aka The Golden Child. She is a naturally gifted athlete who has twenty-one years of total martial arts experience, compared to my six. She is also fourteen years younger than I am, and almost a year ahead of me in jiu-jitsu training. No one thinks I am going to beat her, not even me.

Yet, I am going to stand across from her and give it my all. I am not going there to “win”, I’m going there to learn, to grow. I’m going into it fully aware that my ass will probably be handed to me, but I am not afraid. There are no expectations on me.

Aim highIt would be much easier for me to not challenge myself in this way. No one would care if I didn’t compete. I could stay in my comfort zone, and not put my ego through such a struggle, but I would gain nothing from that. The way to grow is by taking on things that make you uncomfortable, by pushing yourself to do things, even though there’s a good chance you may fail.

I’m not going into this with a defeatist attitude, and lose the match before it even begins. I am going to fight to the best of my ability, but I know that it’s more than likely that her best will exceed mine. The fact is, it really doesn’t matter to me at all. Whether I get a medal or not, I have already won- simply by having the guts to do it. Anything else I learn along the way is where the true reward lies.

“Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.” -Anais Nin

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8 comments on “Nothing to Lose

  1. I think you are wrong. There are people who care if you compete. Combat sports is largly a mental game too. So start thinking you are going to win. Picture the match over and over again with you getting out of bad spots, getting the upper hand, and some take downs. Give yourself some more credit! You can!

  2. Thanks Kristy, I needed to hear that. You're right, and even though I say I think I'll lose, there's a big part of me that is not willing to accept that. I do actually believe it's possible for me to win, and I will do everything in my power to make that happen.

  3. There's losing and there's LOSING. Don't just hand her a win- make her WORK for it if she wants it. The pressure's off you in a situation like this, so you can maybe try some things you wouldn't experiment with in other fights.

  4. I learned this valuable lesson early on in life. Back in the '70's, it was all the rage to play chess in school. I wandered into the chess club, and sat down at one of the empty seats, but everyone else was paired up. Some man came over, and volunteered, and the minute he started…I knew I would lose. As far as I was concerned, he was a master. I had never been so challenged, and I faught all the way to the end. Strange as it sounds, it was an awesome lesson. Turns out that he was the chess teacher, and some kind of national champion.

  5. You know, I have grappled at my best when I have felt like there is no pressure to "win". Just go out there and make the determination that you are going to go with 100%. Don't worry about winning or losing. Just focus on grappling and having FUN! :) Good luck!

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