Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nogi Pan Ams & My Upcoming Surgeries

First off, my JV field hockey team won their game on Thursday against their rival team in their division and it was so exciting! The girls played so well and I was very proud of them, not only for the progress they've made technically but mostly by the way they fought hard every minute of the game. To congratulate them, they earned Friday off!

And because of that, we decided to take an earlier bus to NYC for the Nogi Pan Ams. Ryan, Seph, Quang, Rick, and I hopped on the Vamoos bus from Rosslyn, VA to Penn Station, NYC. We should have left earlier though because we didn't arrive in NYC until 6 hours later on what should have been about a 4 hour ride. Exhausted, we checked into our hotel then went out looking for food. We found a fantastic diner right around the bend and (of course) ran into BJJ people Ryan knew from Ronin Athletics (his first jiu-jitsu school).

Our hotel was cheap...with a very good reason. It was creepy as hell and a little dirty. And for some reason the bathroom was over half the size of the actual room. But for the 5 of us it sufficed for a one night stay. We woke up early because it was 30 minutes to the tournament at City College in Harlem. (Can you believe that they actually made us go through metal detectors and checked everyone's bags - so it took a little extra time getting in?)

Andy was up first, he went one and one in his division. Then it was my turn. I warmed up with Ryan in the back - I always prefer to warm up with him when possible because I feel like I absorb his efficient and smooth movements. (I'm always struggling to move more like him. Although, he actually tells me I should move like Jeff Glover whenever he's correcting me. Lol!)

My first match was up against purple belt Melissa Biscardi. I've beaten her twice before back in 2008 but we'd missed each other in the brackets since then. And I knew she would be a tough competitor because she won the Worlds at Blue Belt last year (2009). But I was ready, focused, and aggressive enough to pull it out in less than 2 1/2 minutes.

Here's video of our match...

My second match (the semi's) was against a blue belt (our division was combined blue/purple). I was attempting to pursue on the feet and started to get frustrated as she ran away for a while (should have just pulled guard as it's hard to wrestle someone who doesn't want to). Anyway, I ended up over-pursuing in my frustration and she went for a guillotine, as I was getting out of it, I stumbled over my own feet...oops! Luckily, I was able to pull out an armlock within a few seconds though.

The third match was against the only other purple belt in the division and I knew she'd be tough as well having just watched her go through her first two opponents. Unfortunately, though I must have allowed my focus to wan and wasn't moving as quickly or as aggressively as I should. She pulled guard and I made it to half guard lockdown twice but wasn't able to secure a pass due to my own stupid passivity with my guard passing. She ended up catching me with a sweep I should have been able to stop. Although I managed to get a good closed guard, she didn't seem interested to really try to pass, in an effort to hurry, I shot a really poor triangle and ended up having to scramble as she went for my back. I managed to fight off the choke and eventually recover my guard...just in time for the end of the match. Ugh. I'm very disappointed in myself for fighting that way and have promised myself and my coach to do better next time. (It was disappointing day all around because all the other guys lost in their first rounds.)

However, exactly WHEN the next time I compete will be is up in the air right now as I found out today that I will likely need surgery for a labral tear in my shoulder AND for the same thing in my hip. The shoulder injury is from February's ADCC Pro Trials in Canada (I know, I know - February). And the hip has been nagging me since the end of last year. I thought yoga was helping but my hip was hurting me so much after this weekend that when I took Ryan to the Orthopedist today, I got an appointment for myself too.

The MRI's are scheduled for next week so I'll know more then. But it looks like 5-6 months recovery before I can compete again. :(

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