Where does the time go? The past few months have been such a blur. Time has alternated between excruciatingly slow and zooming past by me. I retook the LSAT this past Saturday and since I woke up that morning at 5:45, I have not stopped. Immediately after the test I went over to weigh-ins for Rise of the Prospects 3: Sanctuary, went home and tried to nap, met up with my family for post-LSAT and birthday celebrations, stayed out too late, woke up the next day and went run the timer for the grappling matches and watch the muay thai fights, got up the next day for work and just started training again. It’s been insane but I’m so relieved to be done with the LSAT.
I have not been able to relax since I decided I needed to retake it. Every time I was doing something that was not studying, I felt guilty and couldn’t enjoy whatever it was I was up to. This especially happened when I was at the gym and trying to train. The motivation wasn’t there and I wasn’t having any fun. I would show up and drill and maybe roll three rounds on a good day. This same mentality was also impacting my studying. I had such a hard time focusing and productively studying. I think I was burned from all the studying that went into the September test and disappointed in how it turned out. But despite all of this I didn’t give up! I did the studying for the LSAT equivalent of biting down on my mouth guard, which basically amounted to chaining myself to my desk until I finished whatever study goals I had set up for that day.
Test day finally arrived and it has been such a weight lifted on my shoulders! I can’t really say how it went one way or the other. I was mentally wiped out by the end of it. In September I felt very calm throughout the test and afterwards. This time, I felt that I had been pushed to my mental limits and was put through the ringer. I was so happy to be done and basically sprinted to my car so I could get some food and go to weigh ins for Rise of the Prospects.
Weighs in were held at Gentle Ben’s so there was food which was great! I didn’t realize until after I ordered my food that it was probably not very considerate to order food when I was sitting at table with a bunch of people that were cutting weight. I may have been called a few names that weren’t very nice but it was in good fun.
The next day was Rise of the Prospects. I was really looking forward to it even though I wasn’t competing because it was the first thing I’d be doing without the LSAT looming over my head. I also had the pleasure of running the timer for the jiu jitsu matches which means I got to watch all the matches! Oh my goodness, watching so many matches was so inspiring and it made me fall in love with jiu jitsu all over again! Training has turned fun again! Even though the matches were great to watch, running the timer all stresses me out. I get nervous about losing track of time and if I’m going to hit the bell right when the referee calls starts the match. Overall it was a success and I get to run the time for future events as long as I’m not competing! As far as competing goes for me, since I’m free, I’m looking forward to getting back on the mats in April and hopefully taking part in the next Rise of the Prospects.
It really does seem like I tend to post things almost two months after the fact. I’m not entirely sure what causes this but I’m starting to think it might be time and fear. Time because there are only so many hours in a day and fear because of the vulnerability that writing entails. I still haven’t told any of my friends or training partners about this blog. I’ve only alluded to it to maybe one or two people but no one has the address. One day, I’ll announce it.
Back in October I got to be part of something really cool in my city that was hosted by my gym, Rise Combat Sports. The owners, Jen and Chris, put together a promotion called Rise of the Prospects to give local fighters and grapplers a chance to showcase their skills. It’s really cool because Tucson does have a burgeoning MMA scene with plenty of gyms and lots fighters. Jen was telling me that she was advised to overbook the card because fighters tend pull out. This was not the case and instead, she was fielding requests to be added to card non-stop. This first card had Muay Thai and BJJ. The first half of the card was dedicated to Muay Thai with the second half reserved for jiu-jitsu.
This event was was a lot of fun. It was an opportunity to compete without having to pay a tournament fee and I only had one match, so I didn’t have to deal with the anxiety of “What if I win and have more matches?” Every fighter also got to choose their own walkout music and the atmosphere was so different from tournaments. Instead of being a hot and sweaty gym, we were this neat venue downtown surrounded by an actual crowd which was really cool. My match ended up being a loss for me. I got caught in a bow and arrow against a very tough competitor. It was disappointing to have lost again so soon. This was the weekend after my disastrous performance at the Southwest Classic. But it’s okay because before my match I got to cheer my sister, Bianca, on her in Muay Thai debut!
Bianca is my little sister and joined Rise about a month after I did. In the beginning she was a little timid and would only take the women’s muay thai class and then, only if she had a guaranteed partner that she was comfortable with. Bit by bit she started to get better and become more confident. Eventually, she just got really good. Bianca has always been really athletic. She played varsity basketball and softball in high school and did really well there too. I remember a write up in the local paper that referred to her as the basketball team’s “tenacious little defender.” So naturally, she would take to this new sport. She spent some time going between wanting to fight and not fight and I’m so glad she finally decided to. She worked so hard in the lead up to the fight and ran actual camp. She was running, eating well, hitting pads, and sparring. It was a huge step out of her comfort zone and it paid off! OMG! It was such a good fight and I’m so proud of her!!!
Rise of the Prospects 2 will be taking place this weekend. I won’t be competing because initially I really wanted to go to No Gi Worlds but I won’t be doing that either. The week after this match, my LSAT scores came in and I have to retake it. I need to improve my score to get into the school I want because I’m not settling for anything less!