Monday, January 25, 2010

Gracie Nationals Report

I arrived at Burbank Airport after almost 12 hours of travel from the time I left my house. I immediately picked up my rental and drove down to New Breed Academy in Santa Fe Springs to train with Johnny Ramirez and crew. Johnny (of course) helped me a lot and then he and his girlfriend were kind enough to let me stay in their apartment. (Thanks again!)

I was psyched that Ryan was coming down to coach me and headed out in the morning ready to go. But a big roadblock was dropped in my way when, as I walked into the convention center, I received a phone call from Ryan that he was unable to catch a ride down from Santa Barbara after all. I'm not gonna lie, that almost had me in tears I was so upset. I could tell he felt bad but it didn't help me feel any better about not having a coach. I knew I hadn't flown out here to let occurrences outside my control affect my ability to compete.

...and then I ran into the girls. Boing! Sparkle weird. Roller balls. And all. It helped me forget how upset I was to hang out with Jen, Lola, Liz, Emily, Alaina, Laura, etc, laughing our asses off at all kinds of silliness. =)

I warmed up like 4 times waiting for my turn to go, knowing that because of my asthma a warm up is crucial to maintaining adequate cardio. But as soon as I got up to get up to start my next warmup after having sat still to watch the white and blue belt ladies compete, I was called. Oops, not a good warmup after all that...

Luckily, my first match in the purple belt division went well, she was about 50 lbs heavier and I finished with a gi choke. The second match was against a girl my size! I won that one 22-0 and the last match was the toughest as I was getting tired and she outweighed me by 20 lbs and was at least 6 inches taller (height is harder than sheer size sometimes). I screwed up my takedown by doing something stupid (sorry, James) and was down on points in the guard struggling to do anything when I inverted in the last minute and was able to snatch a triangle. Her defense was pretty good though and I couldn't finish but was able to sweep her over. However, still unable to finish, I was swept back over and with almost no time left and still holding the triangle knowing I was about to lose, I grabbed her arm for a key lock. I succeeded finally with about 10 seconds left. Whew! It was tough!

After the tournament I drove to Santa Barbara to get Ryan and we ended up going to dinner out there with Jeff Glover - definitely a good time. In the morning we headed to the tournament and were disappointed to find that I had no one in my bracket. They offered to put me in the Intermediate division, but we didn't think that would be right. Instead, we asked if Ryan could use my registration in my place so they were kind enough to add him to the 170lb division and the absolute. He won both.

I left Ryan in LA to train at New Breed for two days and trekked up to Valencia with my new friend Laura from Knuckle up Atlanta.

Just woke up and getting ready for camp! Woohoo!


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