Milestone Alert!!! This post is about my first tournament ever!!!
Every fighter has a different story about how their first tournament went, 80% will end in not wining any medal’s on their first tournament, however they all use the same words. Amazing, inspiring, life changing, incredible…
Once I saw this image slip into my eyes, it took a moment for my brain to process it, and all that ran trough my mind was the phrase: “Shi#&$% just got real”.
Let me explain I work well under pressure, in a work area, dead lines, work stress, I’m easy to handle. Last Sunday I met a whole new world of stress. Tournament stress… One week before the fight my eating got a lot cleaner, I’m a healthy eater and I always keep my weight in 135, I feel good in that weight, and I train well in that weight.
However I needed to weight 141 with my Gi on, so that put some pressure on me. so I took my precautions knowing that my gi is like 5lbs alone. I know that more experienced fighter cut weight like crazy, and think I’m exaggerating freaking out about a couple of pounds. But when Its your first tournament you want everything to be perfect, and not making weight on your first tournament is a big nerve buster.
So I focused, drew my limits and on Sunday the day of the event I made weight 137lbs with Gi. There weren’t many girls competing, luckily we where all within the average weight… more or less… At the end we where only 4, another girl from my gym, Rosy (she’s an amazing fighter, really raw, she rolls like a guy, and that’s a compliment. Shes very strong as well, and she ended up in 2nd place), and two other girls from different gyms in the U.S.
The day of the event I wasn’t nervous, not even a little. My mind tells me that morning one thing, relax… the wight ins are in one hour, if you didn’t make it by then there’s not much you can do now, so don’t stress it. And I didn’t, I was confident I was gonna make-weight and I did. I got changed, had some coffee, relaxed and watched the other fights. one it was my time to roll I walked to the mat and then BAM!!! the moment I stepped on the mat my palms stated sweating, my heart started pounding in my ears, I felt total stage fright!!!
My first roll was a total blur… I was in survival mode, and I had to tap early it was a strong choke, the girl I fought first was no joke, apparently she was the sister of the gym owners so she was pretty experienced, and I could tell. that’s when I realized the first thing I needed to improve on Start Lifting Weights, I need a lot more upper body strength.
On my second roll I was a little more conscious about what I was trying to do… I had a plan… however it was a little more difficult than I’ve imagined (LOL), I tried sweeping her and I heard my sensei in the back telling me to take it easy and slow, he was great coaching me all the way, and I heard him clearly and focused only on his voice and what i was trying to do, all tough it didn’t go as planed (LOL). My second match lasted like 3 minutes!!! Epic Fail…
My sensei told me it was OK, we had to work on some things, but the important thing was that I had fun and that I tried. And that my fellow fighters takes a lot of balls to do.
I need to pace my self, to relax and think in the moment, lift weights, work on my escapes and perfection my technique. My friend Quiros and fellow fighter once told me: “Us small fighters need to relay a lot more on technique than others, since we will always have stronger opponents, not because you are a woman, but because technique will always make us stronger.”