An Average Joe’s Pan Am Diary. Part One.
Hi, my name is Micah. When it comes to BJJ competition I am just an average joe. I have never been considered athletic. Because I am too small to get an opponent, I usually have to fight in bigger weight classes. I lost my first eight matches in a row, and have never won a gold medal. After losing yet another tournament in a higher weight class I finally decided. I am going to the 2011 Pan American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. This is the story of an Average Joes first Pan Ams.
A couple years ago I was at my school for a competition meeting. I could barely breath and was so exhausted I could hardly walk. My coach asked me why I wanted to compete. In a total daze, I had no answer. Why do I want to compete?
Flash forward to Thanksgiving 2010. I had just suffered an ankle injury in training. I had been stressing about gaining weight. I decided then and there to stop drinking until after Pan Ams. I lost five pounds in two weeks. I also did not want to lose any conditioning while I was out, but I could not run or do anything on my ankle. So I started swimming. After New Years I really kicked into gear. I began driving an hour once a week to train with some experienced guys who were my weight. I started training six days a week. I had to organize training around my school schedule. Work also took a hit. I am a nurse’s aide, but I only work PRN. That means that I can only pick up open shifts if they are available. Training six days a week and going to school for five didn’t leave a lot of time for work, or anything else really. In February, I started two a days during the week, cardio in the morning and BJJ at night. When I had my son with me I put him in a stroller and sprinted him up a hill at Horsetooth Dam. When he was in school I went swimming. I also did a couple local competitions that month to hone my competition game, earning my first gold medal on the way.
Now I am two weeks away, I just pulled a back muscle, my grades have been slipping, and my wife is pissed at me for turning down shifts at work in order to get extra training time. I have been overtraining, I am sore and tired all the time. Everything is piling up. I have wanted to quit more than once. On the positive side I am in the best shape of my life and most importantly I can finally answer my coach’s question.
Why do I want to compete?
Because it is hard.
Look for me in the Adult Purple Belt division, Pluma weight class.