firsts

I'm not made of glass

12:00:00 AM

Last October, I decided to try competing in jiu-jitsu (I joined Artesuave Manila, which I also co-organized). I'm turning 30 this month, so I figured I had to do it before I hit a milestone year (in other words, before I have to join the Masters Division, haha!). There were only two of us in our weight class, and in our best of three battle, my opponent, Denice Zamboanga, won two matches straight, both via armbar. 
#FightTitaFight HAHA! I love this photo!
(Photo by Torogi MMA)
Since I didn't win, my friends and teammates naturally gave their respective versions of the "feel better" pep talks. While I appreciated their words a lot, I also didn't really need consoling because all I really felt after the matches was sheer, unadulterated happiness.
"Silver Lining" HAHA! Congrats, Denice!
I didn't win, but I sure as hell didn't feel like I lost. I walked away with a silver medal ("silver lining," according to one of my advertising bosses, John Tan. LOL!), a super cute Commercenter X WeWillDoodle goodie bag (which had passes to Commercenter Cinemas, a GC for one month unlimited yoga at Evolve Yoga and Fitness, and a can of Old Spice deodorant spray, whaddup!), and the affirmation that I am not made of glass.
I hated doing this drill at training, but it sure as hell came in handy at comp.
(Photo by The Food Grappler, Third Guevara)
No excuses - Denice was the better fighter, and that's why she won. But my journey isn't about beating her or any other opponent on the mats - it has always been about me fighting my own demons. And on that day, even when it was her hand that was raised at the end of our matches and not mine, I felt incredibly empowered. I conquered a daunting opponent: the voice in my head that tells me I can't do it.
Why do I get the feeling that Franco's fighting the urge to coach me? Haha!
(Photo by The Food Grappler, Third Guevara)
In the words of Toffy, it takes a lot of guts to fight, and stepping up to the challenge is, in itself, a win.
Partial fam photo
Dunno where to look!
(Photo by Sofia del Carmen)
The journey to my first competition was far from easy, but I'm lucky because I had a lot of help. Coach Myron and the rest of the gang at Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Manila (#MDS, bitchezzz) top that list - they really put in a lot of effort to help me prepare. From my old home court, Deftac Makati, I have Bryan (pre-training drills, yo!), Boks, Omai, Aris, and Lino (we did it, bro!) to thank, and of course, the rest of DEFTAC Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Philippines. I couldn't have done it without them backing me up.
#EverydayStrong, yo!
Kirk, Coach Barbie, and Coach Bryan of Functional Fitness Makati whipped my old ass into shape with the baddest conditioning routine - thank you for making me stronger and better.
The Core Team. :)
My Triumvirate Fighting family - Franco, Alfred, and Jeboy, plus Kuya Jay - took care of most of the tournament requirements so I can spend more quality time on the mats. And for the production side, I have my Stratminds Events family - Lendro, Clark, Iris, JC, Ian, and the rest of the crew. They all made it possible for me to sign on and compete, and I'm grateful to them for it.

I'll definitely compete in jiu-jitsu again, although I'm not sure when as I've set my sights on another goal (involving knives, haha!) and on joining Duelo (a tourney for arnis organized by my brothers in Carlos Hermanos). For now, I'll relish in this personal victory as I take a swig of my ice-cold beer.

isawisay

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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)