Practices have been steadily getting better since going back into training. I’m able to go through pretty much a full practice without too much difficulty. I’m still working on things like sitting on my feet in guard, but other than small things that will get better with stretching I’m getting closer and closer.
I’ve had a few really good practices recently, I’m hitting more and more moves that I haven’t done since last June before I got injured. This morning I pulled off a few good submissions and even an X guard sweep that I have been avoiding since it is a weird spot for my knee. It feels really nice that I am getting closer and closer to good movement again.
I got a little bit of a surprise at the end of class today. My coach Robert asked me to grab the tape he had torn into stripes at the end of class because he needed to promote a few people. After he got through the people he wanted to promote he grabbed the remaining two and promoted me. I was honestly really shocked. I had been hoping that I was improving but wasn’t confident that I was getting back to what I had been before. Granted I wasn’t in the best state when I came to Roberts school, so it was a huge surprise.
This past year and a half has been by far one of the hardest for me. I moved across country for a job, leaving behind pretty much everything. I was training at a school 45 mins. away, teaching kids’ classes, and trying to balance 50+ hours a week. When things started changing at the place I was training at and I realized it wasn’t a good environment for me. I changed schools, about a month before Pan Am’s. It wasn’t the best situation leaving that close to a big tournament, but Robert and BJJ Olympia took me in, worked to help me get ready however they could, and even sent me to the tournament with a card and food, hey food is a big deal for after a tournament. After getting injured in June, my teammates have been awesome. One of the guys, Chris, tore his ACL in soccer and we have gotten to pretty much go through rehab and getting back into BJJ together. Thank you Chris my fellow gimp! To the rest of my team, Irene, Ehren, Turbo, both Ryans, Joel, Bobby, Charlie, George, and the many others who have had to train with me and work around my knee, thank you. Thank you so much for taking it easy on me while I worked my way back into practice. Thank you for letting me run techniques on you when that was all I could do. Thank you for helping when I started to have melt downs because I was so frustrated with my own limitations, and wanting to push myself too far. Finally, thank you all for pushing me when I was afraid or unsure to push myself. I can think of a few times with Ryan, Ehren, Turbo, George, and Bobby, where they decided I needed to work harder than I was and pushed me to do more. I may have been sore the next day, but it was the good sore, not the oh crap I cant use my knee, sore.
And to my Coach Robert. Thank you so much for everything this past year. I am forever grateful for all of the help and insight you have given me.
So what’s next? Well Saturday I will be refereeing at the Revolution. I am very excited to get the chance to be on the mats at a tournament, even though this time it will be as a referee. Robert asked me when I was going to compete again. At this point the only thing that is really stopping me is my knee, I need a little more flexibility in it before I am comfortable on competition. It’s definitely catching up on strength and my technique has gone way up, I just need to find #1 a tournament to train for, and #2 have that confidence in my knee. So we will see how it goes, as I’m constantly working to make my knee better!