Doubt? Fear? I’ve Got Things to Do

3

The sweat runs in rivers down my face as I struggle to lift myself from the rough floor in the turf-room of the commercial gym I frequent. Another strength and conditioning session is in the books and I can’t catch my breath. The muscles around my rib cage ache and resist the air I’m so desperately sucking in. My heart is beating so fast that it is making my head hurt with each pulse-beat. ******* burpees, man!

I stand and wipe the perspiration from my face with the palms of my hands. I can smell the iron in my callouses. My legs quiver from the heavy squats I endured minutes ago as I tilt my head back and drink greedily from the shaker-cup containing a pink mixture of water and amino acids.

My lips smack and a sigh of relief escapes my throat. I let out a short, maniacal laugh as the endorphins rush into my brain and give me a fleeting “runner’s high”.

It never lasts long enough.

Slowly, I shamble over to my phone and training log and scoop them up. My compression shirt is becoming cold from the overhead fans and the obscene amount of sweat that has soaked into it. I make my way out the door and to my car.

It was two days ago that I was being grappled to death by a former Ohio State wrestler and MMA fighter. My body still hadn’t fully recovered before being hit with today’s onslaught of physical misery. Every takedown, submission, and crank could still be felt throughout my aching body. I wonder if it’s worth it? As fast as I can, I banish such thoughts from my mind. “Of course it’s worth it,” I think. I hope.

The competition is less than two weeks away. I’ve been in full training mode for the last 11 weeks and am still not sure if I’m ready; if I can win. But I think I can.

With help from good trainers and grappling with monsters, I feel better prepared than I have been for just about anything else in my life. I think about how much better prepared I will feel after I’ve been training this well for an even longer period of time. Consistency and hard work have given me noticeable progress.

On the drive home, I focus my thoughts on grappling techniques and concepts. Am I aggressive enough? I work for an underhook from everywhere. I explode from bad positions. Mentally, I no longer give up when in bad positions. Is it enough? The changes seem small but they have made a tremendous impact in my live rolls and competition training sessions. Can I do it?

“Doubt and fear will always be my companion,” I think as I pull up to my home. “But **** ‘em. I’ve got things to do.”

 

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Jared is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and an English professor. He's competed and won multiple submission grappling tournaments on the regional and national circuits. One thing he truly enjoys about the fitness community is the constant opportunity to find ways to improve. He's had the wonderful experience of coaching both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling. He got into weight lifting and conditioning to better his competition skills, and has never looked back.

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