Excited/Terrified: The Thin, Fine Line

I just saw the bracket for my division at the World Championships.

It added a whole new layer of realness to the past year of training and sacrifices. It just suddenly hit me.

The World Championships are this week.

Yes, I’ve know all year what I have been preparing myself for – ever since I lost the quarter finals last year by an advantage point. I got back home with the focus to correct my mistakes and win this time around.

I realized when I saw that bracket, that the feeling in my gut has been the same since I first started competing. It has been something I fight to control – the nerves.

Competition Jitters

I had debilitating competition nerves for the first few years I competed. My heart would start racing and I would have to puke if I ever just THOUGHT about an upcoming event – weeks in advance!

There was a phase where I would just immerse myself in watching a new anime series or reading science textbooks (nerd alert!) in order to keep my mind off th upcoming competition. I would have to take (probably unsafe doses of) sleeping meds in order to get to sleep at night in the weeks leading up to an event. Let’s just say, it was bad.

Then I found that if I just acted like a goofball through the whole process, it would relieve my nerves. The right music at the right time became key as well. I could listen to southern gospel, Andrea Bocelli, Broadway musicals, marching cadences, rock, and motivational speeches – depending on if I needed to chill out or hype up.

Goofball could only take me so far though. 

At the end of last year, my coaches talked with one another and determined that I was too unfocused on my matches and needed to be more mentally present with the intent to win. 

The Balance

To me, the psychological effects of being nervous, are almost identical to being extremely excited. What makes the difference is my perspective and how I handle the feelings. 

Trying to not feel any nerves made me lose my focus and intensity. This year I have made the determination to not consider nerves to be a bad thing, but a necessary tool to keep me sharp. It has been paying off.

So bring on the World Championship! I will be fighting on mat 3 on Friday, the 50th match. I’ve never been more ready, and I am pumped!

  

Off To Worlds!

Well I’m on the plane to L.A. right now. I’ve already had my nap, so now seems a good time to compose something amazing.

I have standby tickets and managed to get the last seat on a non-stop flight. As an added bonus, it’s in business class! Yay leg room!

I’m ready for this. So ready! I’ll be competing on Thursday at about 5:20. Javier will be up at 11:45 Friday morning.

So yea, I’m kinda pumped! And I have 4 dinners planned for Thursday night – no joke, they are mapped out.

That is all I feel like sharing at this time. My next update will likely be results!

Worlds Preparation – I’m Freaking Stressed!

So I’m gonna admit it. I’m stressed out over Worlds.

I’m trying to show a calm demeanor, anyone who asks “are you nervous?”, receives a shrug and “nah” response from me.

Yea, I lie.

During the day, I’m training and working hard – so I don’t really have time to worry. But at night… Well, i am writing this at 1 AM.

So I’m going to go through everything I’m nervous about, and hopefully talk myself down enough to sleep.

1. I’ve gotta get everything organized for the trip! Got so much to do and not enough time!
– there is plenty of time, and I have a list. Everything is already taken care of actually. Plane, housing, transportation, etc.

2. Making weight!
– I stress every time over this. Sometimes it’s even more stressful than worrying about my matches! But I’ve never NOT made weight. Closest I’ve come is 1.5lbs under. I’m already several under – if I avoid pigging out on pizza in the next few days I’ll be just fine.

3. My shoulder is torn up. Really bad biceps tendinitis is making quite a few shoulder motions excruciating. Doc told me I need 4-6 weeks of rest. It’s making training difficult.
– ok, a legit worry. Doc doesn’t seem to think I’m in danger of it tearing in half though. I’ll have time to rest after, and I’ve proven in the past that pain actually helps me focus and do better in matches.

Oddly enough, none of my worry is about how I’ll do in my matches. I’ve put in my time, and I don’t know of anything I could do to be more ready. I’ve been giving everyone at my gym more trouble than I ever have before. I’ve drilled my moves until I catch myself trying to strangle my poor dog in his sleep.

It is ON!