The Strange Occurence That Was My Second Jiu Jitsu Competition.

10:12 PM Moo 0 Comments

My life is rarely average, but recently I've been getting pretty used to routine and a sense of normalcy, so I was a bit surprised with the exceedingly strange day that was my second tournament.

I woke up early this morning after playing tug of war with my boyfriend for blankets all evening, as he tends to run hot and I am always freezing. I was running on about 5 solid hours of sleep, but I figured it would all be fine when I got to the tournament. I felt nauseous and quite dizzy, but I chalked it up to nerves and left it at that.

When I arrived I was 6 pounds under and still had zero competitors in my weight class. This is pretty common in Korea, as Western Women typically outweigh the Koreans. The Weigh in staff member smiled at me and said "Yay, free trip to the absolute." They called me up so I could gladly accept my fatty gold. Think of it as a "pay to play" trophy. No one showed up, so we give you a gold for being heavy in Korea (69 kg-hardly heavy at home).

When absolute finally rolled around (hours later) I was called forward with another competitor. She looked at me, I glanced at her and I saw her untie her belt and walk away from the mats.  I figured they had changed our order or perhaps she was switching Gi's. The organizer walked over and said "she is forfeiting, she doesn't want to roll with you. Too scared." I thought he was joking, but after a minute of uncomfortable shifting around and apologizing in Korean and English, he said "Don't Worry I will change the brackets." I wasn't sure whether I should be flattered that she was intimidated or upset that she found me scary.

An hour later it was finally my turn to roll. I bowed to my opponent and wondered when I would be taking on the Judo competitor I had heard so much about. The second she lowered herself onto the mat, I knew it was her. The stand up game was nerve wrecking but I managed to resist 2 of her trips and a take down attempt. Finally tired of all the stand up I did something I have never done before: a flying armbar. In my mind, I was jumping her guard as I sailed through the air like a crazy spider monkey, landing on my back in position, before I could re-secure her arm. Again, no idea why I did this, but I recovered alright and moved into spider guard. Eventually she passed and caught me in side control. This is where I realized I had less weight to rely on. My first tournament I was able to use some brute strength to flip my opponents, rolling with this Judoka took all of the strength I had and I was exhausted. It went something like this: she reaches for my neck, I defend and attempt to break her guard, she reaches for my neck again, I defend again, attempt to remove her grips and spend the rest of my time trying to escape her guard before time is finally called. As I walked off the mat the photographer, obviously seeing my disappointment said "Don't worry, I have a sek-shi picture of you." Hahaha, only in Korea!

It was a difficult match and although I did my best, I couldn't help but be disappointed. Losing sucks, but I don't mind that part. I felt that I could have done more, tried more things but in the end I was just grateful to have been able to compete at all and very grateful to have support from all of my friends and team mates. Especially my boyfriend, who immediately came and dumped water on me even as I crankily yelled at him and pushed his hands away. I think he knew I was struggling.

After accepting my medals,I made my way home and the last thing I remember was saying bye to a friend before waking up on the floor of my elevator with a very confused neighbor.

Him: Maggie! Are you okay? I thought you were kidding?
Me: Huh? What?
Him: We were talking and you just sort of fell
Me: I did?
Him: Well, that is why we are both sitting on the ground of this elevator.
Me: Oh, yes, that makes sense.
Him: You don't sit here with neighbors, often do you?
Me: I suppose not. My head hurts did I hit my head?
Him: Well I caught you, but then I kind of dropped you on my shoe. So now we are sitting. Sorry.
Me: That's okay, I have a hard head.
Him: Let me get you some water and walk you back.

After another round of dizziness and nausea he took me to the doctor, who determined that I am the dumbest 27 year old athlete in the world. He said I had suffered heat stroke, brought on by dehydration and my temperature had reached 103. He asked what I had been doing all day and when I said Jiu Jitsu, but only one match, he said I was very lucky it had only been one. I suppose now I can be grateful for the distinct lack of competitors in the women's division. On the positive side, had I not gone to the hospital, I may have never known the magic that is Korean Melon flavored ice-ees! They gave me a nice little IV, Ice bath and some delicious popsicles before leaving me to my own devices.

Fail for Maggie's Jiu Jitsu, but a win for quiescently Korean frozen confection!

Next tournament is June 15th and I will definitely make sure my heatstroke doesn't make a reappearance! I did my best but next time my best will be better.