The Cornhusker State Games are right around the corner, and I didn’t sign up to compete in anything this year! For the first several years of my training I was competing on a regular basis, both in Karate and Jiu-Jitsu (I even tried Judo once, unfortunately no other women showed up), but now it’s been a little over a year since I last competed. My husband has recently started encouraging me to get back in the game, because he thinks I’ve made a lot of progress since my last Jiu-Jitsu competition, and he’s confident I would do well. I told him I don’t really care about that, and I want to at least get through my blue belt test at the end of the month before I start thinking about competing again!
Part of the reason I haven’t competed for the past year is because one of my main goals for competing was to further my training, and I was starting to feel that always having a competition mindset was actually holding me back. In a tournament, you don’t have much time to relax and go with the flow, and I was at a stage in my Jiu-Jitsu training where I wanted to slow things down, to be able to see what I was missing. It’s just been a different way to approach things, and it’s been beneficial to me. For one thing, it’s helped tame my wanton aggression!
Sometimes I do still find myself thinking about points when I’m grappling. Last night in BJJ class when I was rolling with Jordan, I was painfully aware of the fact that he was racking up points on me, but I didn’t really need to know what the score was to know that he was kicking my ass!
On a personal level, not competing for the past year has been super awesome! Since I always freak out at the mere thought of competition (for days, weeks, even months in advance), it’s been nice to not put myself through that. One of the drawbacks is that I’ve gone from 115 to 130 pounds over the past year, because I haven’t had to worry about making weight. I sure have been sweating and training hard, so maybe I’ve just been building more muscle. Yeah, that must be it!
Even though I’ve been enjoying my off season, and I feel as though taking time away has actually helped me grow, I do believe there are benefits to competition that can’t really be found anywhere else. So, I haven’t retired yet, one of these days (although I don’t know when) I will compete again. Probably at a higher weight class.
“Shhh. Be vewy vewy quiet, I’m hunting offs.” -Ginger Fudd