As I sit here on the morning before a team of intrepid grapplers attempt to roll for 24 hrs non stop, I start to ponder why I have those little butterflys flying formation in my stomach… Why should I feel nervous about stepping on the mats with friends, to do what we love and train, for the most worthy of causes, raising money for children’s cancer research.
What makes it more retarded is I have combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. I have over 250 skydives, I have 250 hrs as a pilot, I am an former Police diver, I have climbed mountains, chased crooks and been shot at….. so why the hell should this make me nervous?
The answer is, I have no idea, but this is a common occurrence. So many times, probably the majority at our gym, I look at the mats and think “oh, shit, there is no easy partner on there, this is going to hurt (body and ego ;)” and I relax, smile and step on anyway.
This confrontation of your fears… fear of failing, fear of being found wanting, fear of your weaknesses being show, fear of injury, fear of letting yourself down, fear of letting your peers down is a key part to learning. But if you look at pastimes that reveal these weaknesses I think you would find their attrition rate is very high, especially those that lay the blame for underperformance on you alone!
People don’t like to find out that the vision of themselves, the one they have created in their head, is fallible, and it does fail and will be found wanting if truly tested ….
So we have 2 main choices when faced with this dilemma… we convince ourselves that we are as good as we think and the test was some how flawed…. That the activity would be achievable if we really wanted to do it, or that it is mere trickery.
Or we take the hard road, suck it up and accept that failure is part of improvement…. After all, there is no triumph without failure and the things that are the hardest to attain, mean the most!
We used to have t-shirt that said “Tough times don’t last, tough men do!” (sorry ladies, it wasn’t meant to be gender specific…) This phrase starts to encompass this concept and has been the source of motivation to me on countless occasions, but that is another blog .
Reading this back, I can see how it may seem a bit melodramatic to someone that doesn’t take part in an activity that plays these emotional games and also there will be people that have taken the easy path with regards to these introspective choices who probably scoff. I’m not judging and to each their own, as long as we are all truly happy with the choices we make in the times of challenge, because regret sucks!
But for me jumping from a perfectly serviceable plane and stepping on the mats with a bunch of sharks are 2 things that give me great satisfaction because I know most people won’t do it…. They would come up with excuses for themselves that they don’t need to do it, could if they wanted to, aren’t really interested, have to go to the bathroom, don’t have the right equipment, have an old footy injury, can’t find the time etc, etc, etc….
In the end, I think you gain far more by being honest with yourself, identify your strengths and weaknesses, improve those you can and recognize those you can’t, it will make your training much more rewarding….. and now… Telethon.. good luck guys ☺