refusing to be broken

I wanted to train hard tonight.

Lately, I haven’t really been enjoying training.

The AACC is awesome, but the times just don’t work for me. I get up so early, and the AACC starts and ends so late….when everyone is just getting going, I’m tired and thinking about tomorrow, and how exhausted I’ll be. 🙁 It’s not good….

Worked from 7:45 AM to 5:30PM. Ate dinner. Arrived at the AACC at 7:00. I wanted to start training. The lights were off. Empty. I was alone. I jumped rope for one round. My motivation plummeted. It was cold and dark and I was alone. I couldn’t warm up like that. I just sat there, unable to move. Staring at myself in the mirror. What was I doing there?

I should jump rope. I should hit the bag. I should shadow box. I could lift weights. I could do mat warm-ups by myself. Other fighters train hard alone….

If I bust my ass and I’m winning, it’s all good. But if I work so hard and I keep losing, what the hell is the point? Finally Billy came and offered to hold mitts. I hate mitts. I told him no thanks. If I’m not getting any better, what’s the hell’s the point of hitting mitts?

I got so depressed. Megumi and people trickled in over the course of an hour. I chatted with Masa-san, and he tried to give me a pep-talk. It didn’t really help, but it made me realize something important.

I miss the man I called my coach.

I miss the personalized training. I miss the confidence it gave me.

I couldn’t move. I was like frozen. Masa had us do mat-warm-ups at 8:45. Then he taught gaburi, which in English is…I dunno. A wrestling head-pull down? For some reason I couldn’t figure out how to pull back while keeping pressure on the opponent’s back and shoulders. I had so much trouble and I was getting upset. When I get upset, I stop understanding Japanese. @_@ So Masa and then Megumi might as well have been finally speaking gibberish. I was aware I was emitting buckets of negative energy. 🙁 I couldn’t even speak Japanese anymore.

Finally, time for sparring. I’d been waiting for this. But……………………….

I saw Akano-san.
Akano: Oh, Roxanne!
Me: Good Evening.
Akano: Are you well?
Me: *shakes head*
Akano: Really? Injury?
Me: *shakes head*
Akano: Tired?
Me: *Shakes head*
Akano: Heart?
Me: *nod*
Akano: Well…hang in there!

I felt like such an outsider. Alone among dozens of people. Silence amidst the noise. Ignored among people who loved me. Friendless among friends. Searching for something, anything….

Masa: I was injured over and over again and again. I know exactly what it’s like to feel alone….not able to do anthing…..

Then…..I remembered THIS article I read: Ben Fowlkes wrote about Daniel Cormier: You really learn the value of simply refusing to be broken. You find out that even when you’re in a terrible position with no clear way out, all you have to do is not give up. You take it. You try and give some back. You keep pushing and you don’t quit, and before you know it you’re on top. You’re winning.

I’d met Kunioku for the first time in 5 months at the Thanksgiving party. Last night, he’d sent me a text message.

Only that one sentence. He’s a man of few words. But a great man.

I turned to Akano.
“Let’s SPAR!” I practically shouted.
Akano looked shocked. “Oh….really?” As if a sleeping person had suddenly jumped out of bed.
Me: YES!!
Akano: Okay! Oh, is your forehead okay? Injury? *pointed to cut I got from sparring at Ground Slam on Thursday*
Me: NO PROBLEM!!!!!!
Akano: Okay!

We sparred. I tried to pass. She blocked me and tried to kick me off. I used my strength and stuck to her. She tried to pull me in for an arm-bar. I wouldn’t let myself be pulled. I tried to break her guard. I tried hard and broke her guard! She tried to arm bar me. I yanked out of it. I used my strength. I tried to scoop her and get side control. I did it, but she rolled out. I put pressure on and went for the foot hold. She got out and went for an ankle lock. I prevented it.

The sparring continued. And I felt….I …. I FELT STRONGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got stronger! I finished sparring and that was it for me, but I was elated. I was stronger. Some of my strength returned! I’m getting stronger! 😀 My weight lifting efforts have been doing something! Last time I sparred her close to three weeks ago, she was muscling me around. I managed to hold my own.


Next order of business: the test cut. Let’s DO THIS SUCKER!…