"Asshole No More"
That's my new motto! I’m pretty much snapped out of it. I guess I don’t need to know why I have been pissy; I simply need to resolve to stop indulging it. I just don’t like being this person, and that’s why I have been trying to avoid most human contact. Cristian asked me Thursday at class where I have been this week, and when I told him I was lying low till I stopped feeling cranky, he laughed and said, “I’ve never heard that before.” But he seemed appreciative.
And I have started to get back on a less cranky track. Some things are happening that are helping. Specifically, next weekend I’m going to Houston to visit Julie. The following week, my high school friend Debbie is coming to town. Last night was a great party to celebrate the fact that Sean Patrick Flanery recently earned his black belt from Shawn Williams (It was really fun to see some of the people from Hollywood BJJ and to see and be seen in downtown LA.) Today was a great CrossFit workout courtesy of Dawn, and even though I finished dead last, I made some great personal gains (e.g., used a 14lb medicine ball for wall ball, when it used to be too heavy. So I have graduated from 12lbs!). Tomorrow I am planning to do some cleaning and weeding out—of clothes, books, etc. Funnily enough, even though I have such a small place, I have managed to acquire enough stuff that I need to get rid of some. And that always makes me feel good, and makes room for good new stuff to come into the picture. Also, I am set up to teach again at the end of August, both the writing course and the program evaluation course. So I won’t starve. It may not be enough to live on, but it’s a start, and it’s evidence that the universe is meeting me halfway.
Yes, the universe is meeting me halfway, even though I’m still floundering around with the book proposal (and as often as not, “floundering around” = “napping,” or “revising the part that’s already written and doesn’t need any more revision,” or “staying way later at the academy than I mean to, thereby having relatively little time to flounder around with the book proposal.”) At this point, even though I don’t have a full draft, I think it needs a different set of eyes. So I’m going to fill in the parts I can and then work on it with Julie. In the meantime, I’m convincing myself that I’m being productive by continuing to blog. Despite the fact that I work at being as honest as I can and that being honest is difficult sometimes, the blog writing is proving to be easier than the book writing. Maybe that will change as I get some input and feedback. I can also work on the research end of things, vis-à-vis agents, publishers, markets, etc.
In the interest of continuing to blog, Anonymous raised an interesting point about my Dara Torres worship. I guess there is some speculation that she is on performance-enhancing drugs, and that that at least partially explains the success she is having at such an advanced age. I happened to see a television interview with her recently during which that issue was raised. She commented that she has undergone and will continue to undergo testing during the Olympics and beyond, to prove that she is clean. Then Anonymous raised the issue of whether *I* am on performance-enhancing drugs. Not in a pejorative way, and s/he isn’t the first person to speculate about that; some of the teammates of my instructor Marcel (Louzado) apparently asked him if I am on the “bomba,” which is how you say “steroids” in Portuguese.
If anybody cared enough to want me tested, I’d undergo the tests. But there is no drug testing in grappling events. I suppose I could take it as a compliment that people are wondering if I’m juicing because I’m having some success in my chosen sport and/or because I may look different physically from how I used to look. But on the other hand, it taps right into my insecurities about balancing strength and performance with femininity. Great.
Oh, and for the record, I’m not on the bomba. I don’t even take a vitamin regularly these days, which I should probably start doing. My performance and physique are the result of grappling, CrossFit, a Zoneish diet (supplemented with ample amounts of ice cream, especially during Crank Week), and, to some extent, genetics.
Aside to Louis M: Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure which of my actions you are referring to when you say “no need to be mean to the white belts.” If you are referring to the time when I said they should move, I indicated already that I wasn’t proud of that, and I’m not planning to do it again. If you are referring to when I told the class I needed them to pay attention, I’m interested in what you think I should have done differently and how my asking them to pay attention is disrespectful, sends the wrong message about what BJJ is all about, and wouldn’t stand at your academy. (I should mention that I have had many conversations with MY instructor about how to run a class, and I frequently check my behavior with him to make sure I’m acting according to his philosophies about teaching. That’s not to say that I get it perfectly all the time, but it is to say that I’m not just making executive decisions without input from people who know far more than I do about both grappling and teaching. I'm sure there are different philosophies, though.)
Honestly. I’m trying to learn and grow here. I’m not being snarky; I’m truly curious. What IS BJJ all about, in your opinion? Thanks in advance.
Aside to tadams: Welcome to BJJ! I’m glad you found it and are enjoying it. The tournament I’m referring to is the no-gi Mundial in August. I will be out of town for the tournament you mentioned, but some of my teammates will be there. If you are going to be at the Mundial, let's figure out how to identify each other so we can say hello.
Aside to 2Old: It’s funny how my perception of what’s “old” has changed as I have gotten older myself. I know you were probably joking when you asked the question, but it does give me food for thought. (As I get older, that food is preferably something soft and bland.)