Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Lesson In The Unknown

One of the things I talk to clients about is how growth happens outside of your comfort zone. How you need to get over the what ifs, gain courage, have faith in yourself, and always keep pressing on.

My own instructor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rubens Charles "Cobrinha" Maciel taught me that same lesson today in competition class. After technique, it was time for sparring. Normally sparring is 5-10 minute rounds. Today he said no timer. He'll tell us when to stop. So we grabbed our partner and we started going, thinking maybe it'll be 5 minutes so we began a sprint like pace. Then 5 minutes passed, ten minutes. Still going hard, when is he going to call time? It's not like boxing where you can pace around a bit, we are wrestling, and its constant engagement and action. 15 minutes and he finally calls time. It was HARD but it wasn't as hard as we thought. He gives us 3 minutes to rest and we grab our next partners and he says 15 minutes again.

So we roll. Well going hard 15 minutes wasn't that bad, let's do it again since it will probably be our last roll. So we go hard again, 15 minutes passes and we are still going. We keep looking at the clock, at our instructor. Did he forget? What is going on? The "what if" starts to mount, we are tired. But your partner keeps going and you don't want to stop if he's not stopping. 20 minutes passes, some people are sitting against the wall, people have left. Do you step out? How long can this go on for. 25 minutes, 30 minutes, you are dying. It's an outer body experience but you think your partner still has energy so you keep pressing, he thinks you have energy so he keeps pressing. 35 minutes, finally 40 minutes!

Talk about dealing with the unknown, the what ifs. The biggest hurdle in that training wasn't my opponent, or time. It was myself and every excuse I was trying to give myself to back out and stop. Every opportunity I allowed my opponent to gain an inch on me because I wanted to rest. A very valuable lesson in dealing with the unknown.
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