Friday, July 24, 2009

One of the boys...

It may come as no surprise to some, but I have always been some what of a tomboy. And I bare the scars to prove it. However, as much as I still embrace my inner daredevil within. Maintaining my femininity is just as important.

I've always been active and had a lot of energy, whether it was climbing banyan trees or cliff jumping into the ocean at Waimea beach. I've always tried to not let fear hold me back from experiencing life. Perhaps it is my complete disregard for my own safety in attempting to "live life to the fullest" that allows me to relate more with the male species.

However, just because I can play the role of "one of the boys" on and off the mats, doesn't mean that I am not able to sustain a sense of femininity. To me, being feminine does not mean I have to be helpless or fragile. Being feminine has to do with being strong and empowered.

Being accepting and comfortable with my inner and exterior beauty regardless of the standards that are set by society. Giving and earning respect when deserving. And most of all having respect for my self. Paving my own path in life. And not abiding by the "traditional" rules of what a woman's role in life should be. Having the gift to create and nurture life. What ever the causes maybe, I think that women have a tendency to not recognize their own strengths.

Although most of my time is spent training, sweating and wearing a gi. I love to get "dolled up". There is a sense of confidence that goes along with embracing my femininity. I am fortunate to have many beautiful, smart and courageous women in my life that inspire me. I've been known to do those typical girl things, like have a girls night out or shared a night gossiping and laughing with my girlfriends.

For the most part, I've just always been less concerned with how I look doing something and more into being free to just experience life. Even if it sometimes means getting dirty or banged up, I believe having a healthy balance with anything in life is key. I suppose in the end, the battle wounds of my life experiences have given me more character. Or at least offered me reminders of what really matters: having a life worth living.

Monday, July 20, 2009

News 8 Austin Article and Footage

On July 19, 2009 News8 Austin aired a segment on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. News 8 Austin advocated the sport as an alternative means to get in shape. The story will be on News8 Austin for the next week ending 7/26/09. News8 Austin also did a write up on the Relson Gracie Austin association...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Team Spirit

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is non-traditional team sport. Unlike soccer, victories in jiu-jitsu are not determine by how well the team plays as a whole during the game. They are determined solely based on how well I perform the day of competition. However, without the assistance of my team, I would not have the tools necessary to win. My team is comprised of my instructors, coaches and classmates/teammates. I believe that there are many components that go into having a successful team. Leadership, loyalty, encouragement and guidance are key elements that contribute to success. In successfully working together, we bring out the best in each other as people, martial artists and competitors.

No team would be complete with out a leader. A strong leader sets standards, which the team is expected to uphold and abide by. The leader also provides an example of conduct, level of commitment and work ethic. Through strong leadership, the team has the ability to evolve into a force to be reckoned with.

Being loyal to my team, academy and instructors is especially important to me. Yes, an academy on the surface is a business (obviously), but for me it is much more than a place to work out. It is a family and partnership. Remaining loyal even during times of hardship makes a stronger team in the long run.

As I see it, every member of my team has something to offer. Regardless of how much or little we know in jiu-jitsu. I personally rely on the guidance of my instructors, coaches and teammates to further my growth. At my current level, I am more aware of the areas in which I need improvement. But sometimes I cannot see these loose ends as clearly or don't I know how to fix them. Being able to see the loose ends is also especially useful when offering guidance to others.

It is my responsibility and the responsibility of my instructors, coaches and teammates to function and operate together as a unit. How well this is executed determines the success of all involved. My team plays an important part for me. There are always obstacles to overcome and barriers to be torn down. I see this as an opportunity for growth and progress.

I am in this to be the best that I can possibly be. And as I move forward I am learning what type of black belt I want to evolve into. Regardless of where all of this leads to, I know where I started. That is perhaps where I will always be in my heart.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Over heating

It's been over 100 degrees for weeks now in Austin. Every summer I tell myself that this will be my last summer in Texas. It is so hot that you can feel your skin cooking under the sun. My car seats burn when I get in to drive. The wind blows hot and dry air. It feels like you are in an oven. It has almost been ten years since I first landed here, and I am still not use to this heat. Don't think I ever will be.

Our academy does not use AC. To be honest, I am not a fan of breathing fake air when working out. It is so hot most days that I sweat just sitting on the mats listening to instruction. Most days it is an endurance test just to drill. I like to believe that it makes us tougher having to persist under harsh conditions. I know that for me it makes me push myself even harder.


The most important thing to remember is to properly hydrate at all times or it can create some big problems. I am not very good at this. I have to remind myself to drink water on a regular basis. When I don't hydrate properly it causes me to have dizzy spells, blurred vision and muscle cramping.

Prior to this heat wave, when I was training for the Worlds, I was out running Town Lake. I was almost home when I just stopped sweating. This is the worst thing that can happen to you. I felt like I was about to faint. I got goose bumps and started to feel nauseated. Thankfully I was almost home and I was able to immediately slam some water. It was almost too late. I felt awful and ended up having to lie down for a few hours. I was completely useless for the rest of the day.

So bottoms up. And remember to drink your suggested gallon a day of water.