Saturday, April 7, 2007

Why I Am an Inspiration

So just what exactly is my problem? Cuz now I'm thinking about competing in the BOTW no gi tournament at the end of April. I don't think I have any interest in just doing a lot of random fighting. I really don't think I do. A bit late in the day to discover that about myself, wouldn't you think? But two considerations give me pause.

First, it's no gi. No, stupid, that doesn't mean naked. God. As if. You're so immature. It means, like you didn't know, that you can't grab cloth. That is a whole different game. Much faster, more slippery ... slipperier? And I find it's less tiring. Not a hard workout, compared to what I'm used to. I only get to do it once a week -- twice if I come in the morning, which I did this week, even though I was supposed to be taking it easy -- feeling a little overtrained. I have the feeling that I'm better at no gi. It's probably just that little bit of extra speed. So this would be a chance to evaluate myself in a perhaps more realistic setting.

The second recommendation is that I'd be competing with younger guys -- below my age group. Now that I've fought at my own level, it's pretty clear that I need to roll younger. I am torn about that, because the edge that I have, I've earned. I should throw away my edge? But it's not about beating up on old men such as myself. It's supposed to be a challenge, even at the expense of my not inconsequential ego. (I say it that way so that if I lose, my ego has an excuse, and if I win, well, uh, that'd just be terrific! -- and because I'm so humble it won't go to my head.) I'm pretty sure you still don't get it. I've said it enough already. Why don't you listen? I'm not old ... I'm old for this. However good shape I'm in, it still takes me a longer time to recover than it did 20 years ago. That, my dear cynical, impatient and incomprehending friend, is their edge. Why can't I make you understand that?

Now the dilemma is, should I fight at the "executive" level, thirtysomething, or at the "men's" level, twenties. No, I'm not nuts. Executive has only two skill categories -- under one year, and over. That means a bunch of thirty-year-old blackbelts. Bad for the old Jackhammer! The younger guys have an intermediate level, between two and four years experience. Well, at the date of the competition I will have trained two years and two weeks. So should I get beat up by a thirty-year-old blackbelt, or by some tattooed pimply punk with all the energy in the world?

Executive middleweight is 160 to 180, and cruiserweight 180 to 200 pounds. I'm generally about 182 nowadays, with no fat to burn. (I haven't talked about my abs lately, but they are off the hook!) Men's middleweight is 170s, and cruiserweight 180s. Not infrequently the smaller guys are tougher -- faster, more agile. I'd have to think about this.

But, uh, y'know, the way I've posed it, it sounds like I should go with the adolescents. That's just crazy. Somebody needs to talk me out of this. I need counseling, clearly. My son is in his twenties. I get by on being long and strong. And my technique isn't all that good. I'm a tired old man with gray chest hair. There's just no love for The Machine, is there.

But that's the point. The challenge. So it's settled then? Twentysomething middleweights? Ten-four good buddy? (They wouldn't even get it. Embryos. The '70s, dude. Best decade ever! Keep on truckin', Mr. Natural! Sit on it! Kiss my grits!) Sounds great. Thirty years younger and twice the experience. Punks. I'll be the poster boy for midlife-crisis wannabe jocks. Punks. Humility? What need have I for humility? I'll teach them to respect their elders.

Why is my hernia all of a sudden hurting?


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