I had originally started this blog as a convoluted sort of way to make a little money plying my fledgling craft as a writer. And while that money never really materialized (at least not in the way I had anticipated), I managed to tell a few jokes, learn a few things, and keep a record of a particularly interesting time in my jiu-jitsu ‘career.’1 To speak directly on the matter, this year, through the guidance of my instructor and the multifaceted challenges set to me by my teammates, I managed to get a lot better than I really had ever imagined myself capable of being.
Mmm, that rather immodest statement must be tempered some. I don’t think I’m world caliber – far from it. Given the reports I’ve received from the front lines about the level of competition at the Mundials, I am relatively certain it would have been all blood and pain and crying on my part.
Instead, what I mean to say, or reflect on rather, is “of that which I thought myself capable.” I had never considered myself capable of some of the things I can do now.2 Blue belt was a long, difficult road to traverse. What it must feel like for those among my audience who so easily transition from blue to purple, I could not even begin to imagine. But it’s over now. The road is traversed. Well, it is more accurate to say that a particularly difficult section of the road has been traversed; and these days, the path is much smoother.
Eighteen months ago, I had planned out a backpacking trip from my hometown in South Texas to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, My Grand South American Adventure. There’s this swath of land in the South of Panama known as The Darién Gap, which is the piece that connects the country to Colombia, has no roads, and is inhabited with guerrillas (FARC). I had planned on catching a ferry from a small Panamanian town that’d take me to the Caribbean shores of Colombia. It would’ve been awesome.3
Anyway, all this to say that I have progressed, in my jiu-jitsu game, past a difficult point in my jiu-jitsu career, the equivalent of The Darién Gap. I escaped capture from Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, have safely arrived in Colombia, AND now am heading straight for Venezuela in active search for Dayana Mendoza look-alikes (one of whom, I will marry on the spot).
What does that mean in the context of Our Gentle Art? I haven’t the faintest damn idea.
Now I am suddenly re-realizing why I hate jiu-jitsu analogies. God damn it. But I will stymie my impulse to delete what I just wrote, because I never talk about travel on this blog, yet was supposed to do so.
I will write some jokes for this one-year anniversary entry in the future. I just can’t today. As it turns out, I’ve been rather busy lately with one of my part-time gigs – the same business which occupied me last week has yet to be cleared off my plate. Well, thanks for reading.
2. This reads somewhat sour to me right now, as last Tuesday I had a suboptimal performance during competition class. And I suspect because of the beating I received early this morning at Atomic Athlete, I am going to again receive a beating from one or two or three or four or five persons too many today.
3. It will be awesome. My passport expires in May 2015. I have five full pages, and need eight more before it’s completely and entirely full. I will fill this damn thing up before it expires. It’s a life goal of mine.