Taking A Hiatus
When I moved down to Orlando, one of the main factors on where I chose to live was how close a BJJ Academy was to my work or home. Luckily, Gracie Barra has locations all around the world and four in the greater Orlando area.
It took me longer than I liked to get back into BJJ and even lifting weights because of the schedule I was working and the time adjustment I went through. Even if it was jumping three hours ahead, it still took a toll on my mind and body to get a sleeping schedule dialed in and time when my energy peak would be. Most of it was because was just the laziness of getting to the academy/gym.
Going back home to Seattle for Thanksgiving and training with my old team at Gracie Barra Kirkland (GBKirkland), I missed the feeling of friends that were family and pushing myself past my mental barriers. Getting back on the mats and having “no stripes” on my visiting white belt, I saw the difference in skill and experience rolling with new students and my old teammates. It took a moment for the muscle memory, vision, and cardio to kick in, but I was grateful that I still had some knowledge in me after taking four months off.
Gracie Barra Oviedo (GBOviedo)
The mental and emotional call of the mats was unbearable to the point that I woke up from a nap around 2030 on a Monday, hopped in my car, and made my way to Gracie Barra Oviedo. I knew that the classes and open mat had ended, but I wanted a chance to talk story with the Professor and know prices and the atmosphere they were building in the academy and team. It was a bit smaller and different from GBKirkland, but I didn’t want to judge a book by its cover.
The next night, I came into the beginners MMA class with Professor Todd and met some of my future teammates. I’m not going to lie, I mentally sized myself up against them because I was the “new guy” and quickly got myself to put my ego aside because I was not there to make negative impressions. I introduced myself to Professor Todd and bowed into the mats. MMA is a whole new world to me and I wanted to see if I could dip my foot in and test the waters.
My partner ended up being a 20-year old who won Worlds at purple belt and kicked my ass up and down the mats. In a sense that BJJ and combat sport practitioners would consider an awesome welcome back to the mats.
I have been with the team for just about two months now and loving every minute of it. I’m getting to know my teammates more and more and plan on hanging out with them sooner than later outside of the academy when the time and money comes.