Three days of jiu jitsu in a row, with the third day consisting of an hour and a half without the confines of the gi, put me in a weird mental state last night. The post workout (cold) showerthoughts bounced between notions of the slow reduction of one’s own testosterone and the unsatiated need for the adrenaline rush.
Tolstoy said, “Once we are thrown off of our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it is only here that the new and the good begin”.
I found calm while rolling on the mats. Even when pinned under a former UFC fighter, I ran through my list of defenses and attempted to make my escape. At one or two points, I did get tapped out. Against others, I had really fun rolls. Win some, lose some. But the feeling that I felt when I stepped into the shower, and I got over the cold shock was that I got too comfortable. Even under the water in the locker room. I wasn’t surprised, nor did I have to stress my brain to calm my breath and relax. I knew what was coming, just as I did when I was rolling. This isn’t good.
I started to wonder if it was testosterone, or a lack of it that was calming my killer instinct on the mats. Maybe it’s maturity or the fact that I’m learning that the best way to learn jiu jitsu is to have healthy training partners. Nobody wants to roll with a guy who is constantly going 100%. But, maybe they do. I do. I like when I roll with dudes who go hard. It helps me to check myself and to really see how I react when under pressure. It tests my ability to stay calm and run through my list of defenses, and my reluctance to give up by making stupid mistakes.
So what is it? Is it all becoming too easy. Does that come with maturity? I was never one to ‘sweat the small stuff’. But now I’m feeling like I can’t find that rush from the big stuff. When a fighter has your neck, or when you land under a freezing stream of water, your body should react. Your mind should react. You should panic and have to control that panic. Am I controlling that panic automatically? Or, do I need a new level of rush in order to feel alive?
Maybe I’ll try rolling jiu jitsu out on the ice.