I still haven't been writing.
But Stuff is happening, so I'm trying again.
In most recent news, The Master took me aside in class this morning and officially asked me to test for my 2nd degree black belt. I have 5 weeks to prepare (and for my pinky toe to heal).
In somewhat related news, I dislocated or broke my pinky toe in Judo class two and a half weeks ago when I landed on it wrong while being thrown. Spectacular thing, adrenaline.... I popped it back into place, slapped some tape on it and finished class, then rolled for the 90 minute open mat afterward. As expected, when the adrenaline wore off and the inflammation kicked in a few hours later, it hurt. A lot.
But whatever. I've been through this before, three years ago, and this one doesn't seem to be as bad. Buddy taping will now be a Thing, right up until, and possibly including my test. It is what it is. In the meantime, I've avoided Judo, as it hurts to land on that side, and I've tried to do more BJJ, where I'm already on the ground.
I feel very safe on the ground.
Much of the ground training continues to be one-on-one with the guru, who has continued to teach me when he's here on weekends. Between my lessons with him and open mat on Sundays, I am feeling much, much more confident. Grateful as always for his enthusiasm and encouragement.
One such piece of encouragement was to take a seminar Rener Gracie offered in Baltimore this week. I did it, and it was fantastic! Not only was it great to meet him and learn from him, it was also a nice bonding experience for me and two of the other women from our gym, who rode down with me.
That's Rener on the left, and his assistant Brian Ortega on the right. Both of them are larger than life, and Rener is an amazing teacher. I have his DVD set, I watch his videos on YouTube, and I love learning from him almost as much as I love learning from the guru, who's methods and philosophy are very similar..
I left the seminar feeling inspired to learn everything there is to learn and have redoubled my efforts to watch and read and take notes on as much as I can. My only frustration is that I need a partner to learn this stuff well, and I am often alone with no one on whom to experiment. When he's home, grabbing Little is always an option, but not for the extended amount of time it takes to really master something. And as much as I would love to play with Savageman, he has declared in no uncertain terms that his body is strictly a no-Jiu-Jitsu zone. I guess there's always the pets. :)
So between my new passion and my current commitment to testing in June, I will have no lack of challenges in the weeks to come. Add to that the Elder Teen, who finishes up college - not just for the year, but apparently for good - next week.
But that's a whole other can of worms, and really not my story to tell. I'm extremely grateful for the challenges my martial arts activities provide, and the way they constantly remind me that I'm strong and capable and able to learn even really difficult things when I apply myself. It's been (and continues to be) exactly what I've needed.
Grateful, grateful, grateful.