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Beyond the Mat Lesson #4: Silver Linings

“It’s all about the process”

Wow. This Beyond the Mat lesson is downright anxiety-inducing in my current state of mind, with its focus on “What if I fail?”

I don’t want to fail. I finished my checklist (just in the nick of time), but there are so many milestones ahead between today and the end of the test. The conditioning benchmarks start in a few weeks; the running trials are in almost exactly a month. I’m not where I wanted to be and envisioned myself at this point in the test. Will I meet the baselines? …I’m giving that a solid “maybe” right now. I have a lot of work to do.

But, going back to the Beyond the Mat lesson. Even if I do fail, at least I can say that:

  • I finally started to get the hang of rolling and falling
  • I actually did manage to get my mile time back under 8 minutes (which means last testing period wasn’t a fluke!)
  • I’ve lost 20lbs since January and have learned how to eat more intuitively but healthfully
  • I’ve gotten to know my fellow candidates a lot better, which has been so much fun — you are all so incredible!

There are a lot of other positives I could take away from this experience today, even if I broke my leg tomorrow or failed every single conditioning requirement. I really do hope neither scenario happens though, because I know that I will beat myself up over it mercilessly, even if I put a good face forward. (I mean, seriously, I’m still pissed about my pullups from 2015.)

Regardless, pass or fail, or wherever I land on my personal scale of success, martial arts is part of my life, so it’s not like I’d throw in the towel! I’ve been having so much fun with sparring and jiu jitsu that I’m keeping an eye out for grappling competitions later this year, maybe the Grand Prix at Guerilla HQ. This testing process gets pretty stressful, but it has definitely pushed me to a higher level in martial arts, which is gratifying for me both individually, and as part of the Freestyle team.

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