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I'm a 25 year old writer(Mostly poetry) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addict. I have published two books Emotions Volume 1: The Beginning of Turmoil and Emotions Volume 2: Better Days. I also run the blog which can be found here. The blog gives insight on both my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and writing careers.  

Waiting

Good morning all. I have been up all night literally. After missing training today I figured I'd punish myself by watching the best BJJ fighters in the world do what they do over and over. With the Pan-Ams last weekend, Copa NoVA in May and the Mundials in June the competition bug has gotten to me again. I've been competing since I was born at two pounds, two ounces you fight the odds competing against the enviroment and its infectious friends for every breath you take. I was also a county 100m wheelchair track champion for two years. (96-98)Then I quit racing for a myriad reasons.

Fast forward to 2005 I find BJJ AKA Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Finally a sport that puts me on the same level as everyone else I can finally prove I'm just as good as my able-bodied counterparts by beating them. As a disabled athlete you are ALWAYS compared to your able-bodied counterparts. It literally happens 100% of the time. At least in BJJ when I beat someone my critics will shut up.(Well, at least until they find a new thing to complain about) There aren't special divisions or accomdations I can get though I'm sure critics will swear up and down I pulled strings sorry haters but thats not how I do what I do I wouldn't dare give you that satisfacation.

The training so intense that the muscles in your limbs completely shutdown becoming utterly useless. The moments waiting on your name to be called that make feel like you will lose your mind while expreincing the akward combination of nervousness and excitement. As you compete the flow of adrenaline takes you to euphoric place. All for you to release a primal scream as the official declares you the winner.

I live for this vicious cycle. Its an intergal part of who I am. Only one problem, the coach has not given the "Go Ahead", so here I sit waiting.

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Medals

What you see above is my medal wall. Looking at it reminds me of questions I was asked when I helped to plan the first GrapplersHeart tournament. The question was "Should we give out participation medals? The obvious answer to that is no and I've went into detail on that in other posts, so I won't do that here. However, that does bring me to the subject of this post and that is, "What do medals really mean?"

Well, that depends heavily on who you talk to. Keenan Corneilus says he just tossed them all under his bed after a while. I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment as medals medals only represent how good you were on that day. I firmly believe as a competitor you're only as good as your last fight. The only thing on that wall that will forever hold meaning is the certificate itself. Why? Because that doesn't represent just one day or one weekend, over a decade of work went into that. Switching schools, injuries, helping keep a school afloat, being…

Inspiration

There's a line I get a lot that I actually hate. "You're an inspiration." People say it all the time without realizing that it's for that exact reason among others that it means absolutely nothing. It may seem like a compliment but you're really saying when you say that is one of two things.

1) You've given me an idea or 2) I felt sorry for you, but now I don't because you made feel guilty about complaining and being lazy.

Now for the purposes of this post we're going to use and focus on the second use of the word that I listed above. Now to all the able-bodied community I ask you, if after having a conversation with someone they said to you, "Before talking to you I felt sorry for you, but now I don't because made me feel guilty about complaining and being lazy." Does that sound like a compliment? Now is this your fault? Not so much, it's the fault of the media moreso than anything else. After all it's the media who toss the…

Breaks

Lots of us couldn't imagine life without training and would train every day if we could. We'd compete every weekend there was a tournament and travel to all IBJJF regional opens, so we could be ready to compete in the Big 4 when they arrive. Are there guys that do that? Yes. However, most of us can't. And even those that do that, go about the process in a very calculated manner. This to make sure they reach their optimum performance level also known as peak at the perfect time for the event with as minimal burnout as possible, of course no burnout is the preferred result. This involves the athlete doing nothing related to their sport 24 hours prior. This is because we don't actually get stronger while training we get stronger by resting after an intense workout, muscle fibers thicken as they repair themselves. Therefore, they get bigger and us by default stronger. It is rest and recovery that makes us stronger not the act exercise itself. This is also true for the lear…