I know I promised a May BJJ recap, and now it’s almost July. Life got away from me! Things have been crazy busy with my job and us changing the schedule at our gym. Sorry it took so long for me to finally wire this!
And honestly, I’ve been procrastinating this post out of fear. I’ve been afraid to post it because I never ever want to look like I’m bragging, but darn it; I faced a big hurdle in my mental, and in my Jiu Jitsu.
So here goes!
The Submission Challenge that I competed in last month went very well! I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I want to make it very clear that my main goal was not to win. Though winning is a great motivator! My goal was to step on the mat and face my fears. I had a bad experience my first competition and it messed with my head for a long time. I wanted to re-write that part of my BJJ story… I did that! Of course there are things that need work, but I also learned a lot.
My opponents were classy women each with their own unique journey. I was excited that I already knew one of my opponents. She is from our sister academy, and I got to know another from another gym in Fargo. I seriously can’t rave any more about my opponents and their teams. They were polite, competitive, tough opponents but most of all they were kind. I felt no animosity between either of them. The day went pretty crazy to be honest. The tournament was short 2 referee’s so the schedule was pushed back quite significantly. Luckily, someone was able to step up and ref so that helped move things along. The schedule had me competing around 2:30. It was around 1 or so that I braided my hair and started to get myself mentally prepared. Little did I know, not even 5 minutes after braiding my hair they were calling my name to compete. I hadn’t warmed up or anything. I was watching my other teammates and just kind of hanging out keeping my mind off of getting into my own head. Which, worked really well! So, around 1:30 I was getting called to face my first opponent. I had to race to put on my gi and hop on the mat. My anxiety was starting to spike and I almost started to panic but there was no time for that! I was able to keep my composure and compete well in all my matches! I did Gi, and No Gi and I successfully submitted all of my opponents.
Going into competition, winning wasn’t my goal. It was something I thought about and wanted, but it wasn’t my main objective. My opponents were all warriors stepping up to compete with me. Because well, I’m not a small girl and I outweighed all of my opponents. However, I always do my best not to use my size and strength against my opponents. They are attributes, that when used behind correct technique can really be an advantage. I always strive for clean and crisp technique. I felt like I really achieved what I was set out to do. Go in, have fun, and no matter what the outcome leave with a positive experience. During my second match my opponent got top position and she was tough to get off. At one point I said in my head “Kayla, it’s okay to lose. It’s okay to lose.” and at that moment I almost gave up. ME. I almost gave up. Which most definitely is not like me. We went out of bounds, got reset, and I was able to capture my composure again. I went in for the finish… I told myself I was not going to give up and that it was okay to win, too. It was okay to win. I didn’t have to chose to give up because I was afraid to win.
I learned so much about myself that day, and a whole different Kayla appeared. A confident lioness. Someone myself and my teammates haven’t ever seen before. Competition could have gone many ways, and I am ecstatic that I was able to go out there and put my best on the mat. I’m looking forward to the next time I decide to compete again.
Britt and Me- GI- Heavyweight