What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, I was reflecting about our sparring class and how it’s nice to not be the newest white belt anymore. Not that I’m dominating the new guys, I catch them sometimes, and sometimes I’m able to focus simply on being in a good position, and sometimes they catch me. Then there was sparring class tonight.

Compared to a couple months ago, I did all right. The times I was submitted, I was able to defend a while and keep moving. Which is something I couldn’t say not too long ago. However, tonight was bad for another reason. Multiple times tonight I felt like I was just too exhausted to move. I was sore. My knees hurt, my back is a little strained etc. I have a game plan for my tournament coming up on the 23rd, but I’m not super confident that I’ll pull it off. ┬áCombining all of that made it hard to be motivated to keep pushing forward.

But there is one thing that does keep me moving forward, simply this: I will not be unprepared for my tournament. Clearly I’m not going to be able to plan for every case. I might be matched up with someone much younger, or stronger, or someone who’s got more BJJ experience than me, or has a wrestling background. I might have to compete with someone who has done several tournaments already. Or, none of that might happen. I can’t control those things. I can control my training. I can control my conditioning. I can control my game plan. That’s what’s motivating me to keep pressing forward. My first tournament is coming up in 18 days. I have but 4 sparring sessions left before the tournament (assuming I don’t spar the week leading up to the tournament.) I have about 5 conditioning days left as well. I want to be able to walk off the mat knowing that I was as ready as I could be, and not questioning “What if I did 1 more sparring session? What if I didn’t skip that class a couple weeks back.”