I was down to the wire, 154 1/2, with 3 days left and at least 6 pounds short of making the cut. My step mom told me that I should take the "super dieter's tea" morning and night. Let me tell you folks, lax and plane-do not mesh well. A couple days before my flight, and I broke down mentally and physically.
I was exhausted and utterly drained. I wasn't losing any weight, yet I was eating hardly anything and working out like a mad women, doing an hour and a half of cardio, plus grappling/cross fit sessions. My dad had left earlier than I for California due to my university's freshman orientation. So there wasn't anyone to teach the [jiu-jitsu] classes. It was just an open mat with a few of the leading belts guiding people along. Of course "Sujo" thought he had the right to teach the new guy, despite training for less than a year.
I just couldn't take being there. I was too tired, too frustrated by "Sujo's" usual behavior. I went to the bathroom and broke down, picked up my gi and flew out the door, heading straight for the gym. That was the night I started to take the laxs morning and night...I lost 6 pounds in 2 days...
I sat next to 2 people on the plane, a large robust man in the middle and a tiny middle-aged woman. They were both very friendly, but I was running on little calories, ripping apart my insides and mentally preparing myself for the biggest tournament of my life- I was not in a good mood and small talk was completely out of the question unless you wanted to get a right cross to the face.
At least they had 300 as a movie option on the flight, prepping me with its gung-ho battle morale.
Which I continually paused.
I would stay in the tiny bathroom, waiting for the next spontaneous movement to take flight. The woman sitting next to the big man asked, "Are you all right? I have an alka seltzer." Never thought I'd hear myself say this Southern phrase, but bless her heart she had no idea that I was doing this to myself.
I was popping sugar-free gum into my mouth like it was candy. When we got to the hotel where my dad, "Lando" and I were staying, my dad asked if I wanted a beer. My jaw hit the floor. I was a night away to making or breaking it, how could I drink a beer?! Plus, it WAS my dad asking me. He saw the shock spread across my face and told me to relax, that it was just to dehydrate me.
The next morning I weighed myself, 148.5 in my birthday suit. My gi combined with sports bra and underwear weighed 4 pounds. The limit was 152, and yes, they WILL disqualify your sorry ass over a half pound. I've seen it happen. We headed over to the nearest sauna where I could sweat out a pound.
I have no IDEA how some people stay in that hell hole till they bleed 5-10 lbs. One pound nearly killed me. I would go in for 15-20 mins, exit looking like a wet seal, weigh myself and enter the inferno once again. Brutal is an understatement.
148 in a bathing suit-I called my dad and asked if I was ready to hop on the scale. He asked me how I felt. The only thing that came to mind was, "Dizzy...and light-headed..." He told me to come out. I was a little nervous as to whether or not it would be enough to make the cut.
When I got in the car, my dad told me, "If you don't make weight, it'll be my fault, but I don't want to push you too far." We had had an agreement before this all began, if I didn't make weight, I would have to reimburse him for the entry fee and ticket to Cali. But I guess he realized that I really did do everything in my power to grovel through my deadlines.
The tournament was held in the Cal State gymnasium. Man it was nice, filled with stadium chairs and a pretty decent workout area on the outside (like an actual gym you pay membership to), held in a dome-like structure.
Tons of Brazilians were there, of course. Along with lots of Japanese players, some English, Australian, Dutch, Danish, Argentinian, Israeli, Norwegian and New Zealanders. It was all so surreal. This was it, the cream of the crop.
I waited until 2:30 to weigh in, right before my match. I was popping trident gum like a junkie. While I waited and warmed up, I met up with some familiar faces. It's sort of ironic, no matter how far you travel for these tournaments, you always end up seeing the same people.
Sitting there stretching, I kept telling myself that I just wanted to get this over with so that I could eat again. But I was lying to myself like I always did. I was freaking out on the inside, praying to the good Lord that I wouldn't screw this up. That all those late night gym visits and agonizing nights of going to bed on an empty stomach wouldn't be for nothing. That maybe one day...I could make a name for myself in this sport.
Before my first match my dad told me, "I want you to look at the first girl you fight and imagine that she's the reason you went through all you did. She's the reason you couldn't eat." That's all I needed and the bitch was going to go down. Prior to going in I told myself, "I just want one."
And then I won. And then another one came. And then there was the finals.
My dad was there with the honey, water, banana and muffins. As soon as the first match was up I screamed, "Where's my muffin?!"
Yet after being deprived of any real fats or carbs for 2 months, the thing wasn't nearly as appetizing as it looked, it actually made my stomach turn.
But pumped up on honey, water and my naner, I was headed into the final match, against a Brazilian from Denmark. This was it. I was so close.
I lost by 3 points...
Looking back on it now, I might have one if I didn't have to make such a ridiculous weight cut in such a short amount of time, but there's no use crying over what's already been done. After all, in the beginning I just wanted to make weight, and then the goals kept creeping higher.
I don't think getting married could nearly have felt that good. I've never felt such a high, only a bit comparable to other successful tournaments.
As we stood on the podium, having our medals placed around our necks, I said, "I feel like we're in the Olympics!" It was for me, it was my Olympics, my achievement in life, however different, strange or mediocre to some people, it was all mine.
Now everyone tells me I smile a lot more. People who work in the mall think I'm new, even though I've been there for almost a year. Even the janitor made a comment about me smiling. I smile because I'm second in the world in my division (blue belt). I smile because I'm happy.
The night before I flew to Cali, my step mom gave me a card that said, "The Lord has promised never to put more on you than you are able to handle." I'll never doubt that ever again.
Sorry it's been so long folks...now where do I begin?