I Lost


I lost, I lost, I lost. And I take loss very personally. Yes, I lost. I lost, then I went on vacation in San Diego from Thursday evening to Monday afternoon. In that time, I turned off my phone and wrote a few emails to my close friends and everybody who helped me train.

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from:  Justin
to:  My Mom
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:06 AM
subject:  I lost
mailed-by:  gmail.com

I lost my first match 0-3.  Something felt off today, but I don’t know what.  I think I tried to lose too much weight.  I’d call but, IF I turned on my phone, I’d have to read all the goddamn condolences from all my friends.  And I really, really, really don’t want to.

I love you.  I guess I’m on vacation in San Diego now.  I’ll call you in a few days.  Love you, love you, love you.

Justin

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from:  Justin
to: Redacted (My girlfriend)
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM
subject:  I Lost My Very First Match
mailed-by:  gmail.com

[Insert Female Name Here],

I lost my very first match.  0-3.  It was a very, very pathetic display.  All my dearest friends were watching from home, too.  Why I couldn’t find the energy to muster even the slightest fight is, at least partially, elusive.  I just quit sometime during my match, and I can’t understand why that happened.  I’m a fucking loser — that’s the only answer I’ve got on such short notice.

Anyway.  I said I’d text you about it, but I’ve turned off my phone.  The last fucking thing I want to do is read all the goddamn condolence-type messages (And have condolence-type conversations) with my dear friends — lesser still with my acquaintances.  I miss you.  More than anything, I wish I was in your arms.  Or my head resting on your lap, watching a movie.  Possibly with a cheeseburger in my mouth.  Two.  I want at least two of those three things.

I hope you are doing well.  I’ll stop hating myself in a few days, probably.  I’ll shoot you a text once my phone is back online.

Justin

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from:  Justin Baize <jjbaize@gmail.com>
to:  The 18 people on the team who helped me prepare for this competition.
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 5:04 AM
subject:  Helllooo My Friends
mailed-by:  gmail.com

“My Team, My Family,

I’m writing to thank you all for your continued support throughout my camp these past five weeks. While I did not perform to the standard of which I <i>believe</i> myself capable, I know my performance today would have been all the poorer without your investments of both time and energy. For those things, those various things you have invested in me, I thank you, my friends.

If you did not catch my match earlier today, let me say that you did not miss very much. To digress briefly, I THOUGHT it was Napoleon who said “Fatigue makes cowards of us all,” but apparently (according to the Internet) it was the much less regal Vince Lombardi. I don’t know why I was so tired. It probably had to do with the cut, if I had to guess. But for me at least, no excuse will really suffice. Nothing disgusts me more than cowardice on the mat; and all the fucking more when I’M the one being the coward. I expect nothing less from myself than to perform up to the standard set before us by Donald, Paulo, and The Legacy. I just do.

But I did not perform up to the standard. Not by a long shot.

So I write primarily to thank you so much for your help. I really could not have come as prepared as I did without your help. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you guys.

Taking the liberty on a quote by the illustrious Thomas Paine, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of [Gracie Humaitá Austin] must, like men, bear the fatigues of supporting it.” The sentiment of that quotation is precisely what motivates me to do what I do for the academy, be it instruction, competition, on the mats, or off. I wholeheartedly believe it — in fact, I can feel it…I can feel it in my plums…:

Still, one can only take so public a beating, only display so cowardly a loss before retreating to the privacy of his guest bedroom just two sunny blocks from the beautiful California ocean. ::clicks heels:: I got some goddamn donuts, now I’m on vacation! I’ll be back in town on Monday night, and probably back on the mats by the middle of end of next week.

When I return, I’m going to take a look at the copious amount of notes/data I took during this camp, retool, and, hopefully, return all the stronger and wiser. Thank you guys again and again and again for the continued support. I really, really couldn’t have done this without you all! Aaand I hope to see you, my family, soon!

Much Brotherly Love,
Justin

P.S.- If you’d like to reply to this email, please do NOT do it here. Drop me a line at [redacted], instead. I’m not really in the right kind of mood to read a condolence/encouragement-filled FB thread, earnest though I know it will be when written by you guys — and god knows I love you guys and think the world of you all too, by the way. This is also why, as I’m sure some of you have noticed, I turned off my phone. I’ll turn it back on in a few days. Thanks!

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from:  Justin
to:  Redacted (My sponsor)
date:  Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 5:53 PM
subject:  I Lost My Very First Match
mailed-by:  gmail.com

I lost my very first fucking match 0-3.  Five weeks of two-a-days and three-a-days for one of the most pathetic displays of my life.  Possibly the most pathetic seven-minute span in my life.  All my friends from the academy were watching, too.  Why I could not muster the energy to fight is, at least partially, elusive — though I’m sure it’s related to the weight cut.  Whatever the final reason, I feel really fucking lame right now.

Thank you for sponsoring the trip.  I don’t think I would have been able to afford going without your help.  Maybe next time I’ll be able to muster courage enough to do more than just take an ass-beating in public from a profoundly mediocre opponent.  Hopefully.  I’m going to try to do some writing in these few weeks off from BJJ.  Thanks, thanks, thanks again.

Justin

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Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next Wed.

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