Post 2nd place win in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships-Continued
Anyhow, so back to my story...as I waited among the sea of competitors in the bull pen, I did my best to clear my head and just think positively. It wasn't as easy considering that I was now running on an adrenaline high. My mind raced. I was still in shock that I'd come this far. All of my hard work had built up to this moment and here I was minutes away from that defining match.
The realization that I was going to compete in the finals was intense...I was going to place 1st or 2nd regardless of how this next match went down. I had a 50/50 chance of taking home the gold and I wanted it bad. I had increased my odds. Originally starting out with a 1 in 7 chance of going home with the gold (being that there were 7 competitors in my division) and now it was down to the two of us.
My training had paid off in the prior matches and proved to be effective. The same heavy set Brazilian man retrieved me from the bull pen and I walked back over to mat 6 with him. I was confident, relaxed and that same cheek to cheek smile was plastered to my face. I felt happy and light. My mind had not settled down, but my body was still fresh and ready to go. The match before us cleared off and on to the mats we went.
My final opponent was Sofia Amarante of South Florida Fight Club. Like all of the previous competitors, she was not to be taken lightly. She too had teared through the competitors on the opposite side of the bracket. Within the 1st few minutes of the match she sunk in a choke that I was almost sure would have put me out. Everything started closing in on me and I was on my way to darkness. But as I defended, on the verge of taping out I told my self that this was not how it would end. So I continued to fight off the choke and sure enough my will over came the strength of her grip and I felt it weaken. I took advantage of this opportunity and squirmed out and on went the match.
It was an evenly matched round. From that point on both of us maneuvered around each others submission attempts. 6 minutes into the round and only one more to go...no points on the board, no advantages, nothing! Was this going to go to over time or result in a decision called by the ref? Both of us worked hard to finish strong. Back and forth we went attempting to submit and shutting each other down. Attempting to transition for positions to score points...nothing.
I had her in my guard and decided to move to an open guard to attempt a sequence of submission attacks. In the end this decision proved to be a bad choice. She was able to shift out from my open guard and pass. 3 to zero. I was down now. I was less than a minute to go, I was down on points and I had nothing. No submissions open, no transitions to gain points. Nothing.
My mind was swimming and I couldn't figure anything out to put me ahead. Soon after the time ran out and it was done. I had lost and I was going home with the Silver. There was nothing I could do to change it. It was over now. I was disappointed with the out come, but nonetheless I was so very proud of my self and how far I had come. In this experience was another lesson learned. It was just another area to work on when I got home.
I stood proudly at the podium when awarded my 2nd place metal. Words can not describe how content I was. How strong I felt. How confident I was now that I had accomplished this goal. To top it all off as we (1st, 2nd and 3rd place competitors) stood on the podium the 1st place winner was awarded her Brown belt. I had come so close to winning against a woman who was on the verge of a Brown belt! I am only a 1 stripe purple belt and she was a 4 stripe and now a Brown belt.
Her promotion made me appreciate my 2nd place title even more. I was on top of the world and my energy was running high. Good job Shama! Way to represent your team and prove to your self what you are truly capable of.
Pushing those limits are what defines us. If you never test them, then you never know what you are made of. I honor this victory and am so grateful for this opportunity. I've learned a lot and am ready to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments that will only make me better in the tournaments to come.