I finally stopped procrastinating and signed up for the Circle of Iron BJJ Championship, which is taking place this Saturday! Even though I’ve been training in preparation, and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t enter, I hate competing so much that I was having a hard time convincing myself to actually do it again. I wanted to use the fact that I’m feeling physically battered right now (which is sadly too true) as a reason to get out of it, but it wasn’t a good enough excuse for me to not feel like a total chickenshit for not entering.
Jerad actually deserves a lot of the credit for me going through with signing up for the tournament. First of all, he left this comment on Facebook in response to one of my teammates saying that they were out of the competition: “There is never a shortage of reasons to avoid stressful or scary things. We grow as people when we do these things in the face of uncertainty. You will never feel 100% ready.” Even though that advice wasn’t directed to me, it certainly struck a nerve, and made me realize I was letting the fear win. I know that Jerad dislikes competing as much as I do (he just doesn’t talk about it!), but he entered the Circle of Iron anyway.
Then at Lincoln BJJ on Monday, for the first time in several months no students showed up for the ages 10-15 class, so Greg had Jerad and I drill our competition techniques for about 45 minutes. During that time, I talked to both of them about my reluctance to sign up for the tournament, and they encouraged me to do it. I told Jerad that I was waiting to enter until I “felt good” (which I meant more mentally than physically), so he told me that the comment “You will never feel ready.” was something Tinguinha had told him when he was here last summer.
I don’t feel ready to compete, my entire body hurts, and even thinking about the tournament makes me want to cry and throw up, all at the same time. Yet, I’m going through with it, and no matter what happens, I will learn something, and I can be proud that I’m facing my fear once again.
“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.” – Jim Morrison