I rolled tonight for the first time in weeks, maybe even in a couple of months. Travel, injuries and work have kept me out of the gym on Tuesdays, and that’s the day we most consistently spar. Though today was a Monday, we went a couple of rounds, and I felt well enough and had the time to participate. I definitely felt those weeks off, not in my conditioning because I had kept my workouts up, but in my game. My reflexes weren’t as quick, and my mind wasn’t as sharp.
I’m not a natural athlete. I was always the kid picked next-to-last for teams, but I have always loved sports anyway, always played. Occasionally, though, my lack of athleticism is frustrating, and tonight was one of those times. I was stumbling through the rolls, taking precious seconds to contemplate counters, finding myself in the same problem spots as always, still trying to find a valid course of offensive action when possible. Jiu jitsu Groundhog Day. And I was beating myself up, thinking about what a goober I am, calling myself things I would never say to anyone else, asking myself why I even bother.
As I was driving away from the gym, though, I reminded myself that I am progressing even though not as quickly as I would like. I might not be thin, but I’m strong, and I’m flexible. I have a good time, and the time will pass regardless. I might as well be spending it on the mat.