Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I tweaked my shoulder this morning rolling with a vicious brown belt. That same one, with the pointy knees. I'm still reluctant, but I did notch it up for him. Finally got him in a sort of reverse triangle that wasn't going anywhere, but I held it and squeezed anyway. I was trying to remember an arm attack when we ran out of time. He was not pleased. I think he brings his ego to it in a way that may not be entirely admirable.

Then, after I'd rolled with four or five other guys all in a row and was gasping and panting and sweating myself into a puddle, a white belt stepped up. My size and build, pretty much. Thirty years younger, or close to it. And he just attacked. Oh my. So I notched it up for him too. I don't know that I've ever done that before, with a white belt -- but as I said to him after, sort of with an apology, "If you bring it, you'll get it back." Not a warning by any means. I like it, sort of. Just an explanation.

With virtually everyone I roll with, I'm focusing on improving my skill. It is not about beating someone. With me, it's about not getting beaten, and in the meantime, learning something. Virtually, of course, means almost. One of the skills I lack has to do with going full blast. What if I run out of energy? Then I'd lose. So what. And there's the obvious fact that if I'm going full blast, it will be very taxing for the other guy as well. See how that works? If you do, remind me later about it, because I forget.

When someone comes on strong, it's permission to return it. In social settings, it's wise not to match foolish conduct. As I've said, I learned through very painful lessons that I cannot out-scum scum. I mean, I could kill them, but we're talking reality, and the lines that I won't cross don't even exist, for them. On the mat, with those whose judgment informs them that they should try to used strength with me, well, I'm surprising that way.

So I've been rolling again for two weeks now, and I'm feeling more like a p belt. Very strange, these symbols. Now I feel entitled to it, and I'm a little cocky. Kidding, but I'm strangely comfortable -- strangely, because I have not gotten it all back, by any means, and last year, when I was better, I was certainly not a p belt. See? But there comes a point when you have to stop apologizing and just get on with it.

Starting again, there was the coward in the back of my mind, afraid of the bigger higher belts. A lot of it is that I just didn't know anyone, or their skill. Now I'm still concerned about having to work really hard. That's a sort of coward too. But it's a better fear than that other one. Lazy is better than weak. Because attitudes can change.

So I've got a tweaked shoulder, and I'll have to wait a few days to see if it's damage or just some discomfort. As we say, be sensible. It's hard to do, sometimes. On the other hand, it's a really good excuse to be a coward. But if you go back, as you ought, and look at the ever-expanding p-factor list, you will notice that "I'm injured" does not appear there. If you're injured, be sensible.

I'm very low-energy right now. Almost wrecked myself with those intervals last Th. Been hobbling around like a wino. Still sore today, in the soleus, muscle beneath the calf. I'll be finding my level over the next few weeks, between bjj and cf. I love bjj, so that would be my preference. But cf is just more productive. And I saw myself naked in a full-length mirror the other day. Caught me by surprise, and I just had to admire the sight. I did not throw bodybuilder poses, but my goodness. I'm one of the less-gay men around nowadays, but I just had to stare. It's okay, because it was me. It was startling, is all. Mm mmm. I've always thought of myself as just a long lean guy. I'm gorgeous. So, point is, I guess I do have to keep the cf. Deprive the world of beauty like this? God would be angry.


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