As I look around my classroom, I am not unsympathetic to the anxiety that teens nowadays experience. What I do have is an issue with how many expect things handed to them on a silver platter. Few are willing to work for success anymore.
In a time where instant gratification is the norm, it is also difficult as an adult to learn patience, let alone perseverance and determination to not give up simply because something is difficult. It is so much easier to walk away when we don’t obtain what we want in the time frame that we want.
We find excuses.
We say we are smaller, bigger, missing limbs, not missing limbs, older in age, younger in age, out of shape, too much in shape – whatever our reason is – we consider ourselves defeated.
We give up…
But we shouldn’t because when that one moment…the ‘aha’ moment, where all of a sudden all that hard work, the anxiety, the sore muscles (and joints for this old gal) when you know it was all worth it.
Last night we learned different mount techniques. It is referred to as the King of all positions but what I learned the most was how to modify the positioning based on my size.
Time to begin practicing the technique, I scan the room and see the men quickly scrambling to find their partners. I wasn’t quite sure why they were scrambling so quickly until my eyes laid upon my partner (6’2″ – 230lbs – all muscle) ….–> –> –> Gulp!!
I got this….I tighten my belt (which is starting to actually look half decent these days), pray that my pants don’t fall off – and an extra little prayer that I don’t end up being squashed..
Getting into position and I can’t stop laughing. The main objective is to get my knees both on the mat, while straddling his chest….both of them…at the same time….ya, that’s not happening.
Straightening my jacket, taking a deep breath, I try. Nope. Impossible.
Let me think. Jiu Jitsu is about learning techniques to defend yourself in real life situations. I need to learn how to position myself so that one knee is on the mat and my other foot is helping me find balance (thank you Coach Matt for the extra lesson). Feeling secure with my stance, I place my knee under his arm…ok, maybe it was a little more emphatic than that, I accidently kneed his ribs (he is really really tall).. poor guy, I’m pretty sure I was about to see that cheesecake he was boasting about eating just prior to class – cherry cheesecake for those who really need to know. (My brand new Gi was potentially going to be the victim of a full on projectile if I wasn’t careful with my knee placement)
After a few very awkward moments, I’m starting to get the hang of this. Grab his arm, pull down (long arms resulted in my head getting smacked – keep going Yolanda, you can flip him), lock my leg around his ankle (where the heck is his ankle???!! Seriously? How am I supposed to flip if I can’t even reach?)
My head is spinning, I’m not sure where my hands are supposed to be that don’t cause my embarassment to the max…when this giant of a man now on his back says, “That was all you.”
I request clarification….
Did I actually flip him without his help?
With every part of my body spasming due to my flipping this Goliath, I smile…because now I feel like Superwoman.
And now…again…keep practicing. Flip. Flip. Roll. Spasm. Ignore. Flip…can’t breath….need water.
The class continues, he keeps picking me as a partner- drilling and sparing. Change partners, do it all over, again and again….it’s all about developing muscle memory….
Until I can no longer feel my muscles. (I am pretty sure I just learned what gassing out feels like.)
One thing I experienced for sure, these gentlemen warriors made me feel like I was on top of the world. That I can do this…the first stripe on my belt might actually be obtainable before I turn 80 years old.
Thank you so much Eric, Chris and Sebastian along with the rest of the male folk this evening at Pura Atos Hamilton for making me work for it, teaching me perseverance and that yes, there are good men out there who are willing to teach a woman how to fight back in a real life survival situation while not being egotistical about it.
You guys rock!