Every new year starts with it the hope of a clean slate and new possibilities. Most people involved in athletic pursuits vow big PRs, signing up for meets and tournaments or or races. This is usually the time to vow a new skill or breakthrough.
Not me. Not this year.
This year I am taking a step back and making sure I master the fundamentals again. Mobility, flexibility, form and cardiovascular health. I will not be reaching for new PRs on my lifts: I will be reaching for varied angles, impeccable form and more volume. I will not be entering any Jiu Jitsu tournaments or trying to master heel hooks and complicated gi chokes; I will be making sure my fundamentals are effective and rock solid. I will not be trying any wild flips and spins on the pole, I'll be practicing basic holds, climbs and positions. I am going to learn the 1-2s of striking and try to get my cardio to a better level. I will be stretching out; a 300 pound deadlift is not so great when you can't walk up the stairs or touch your toes.
In this way, I'll be like a beginner again, but without the anxiety that goes with it.
For a year or so, my life was off the rails. In response to all the stress, I beat myself up in the weight room and on the mat. I was angry that difficult things kept happening. I was angry that I didn't have the freedom and time I did the year before to train hard, I was angry that every time I got into the swing of things, another difficult thing would happen and I'd have to stop and start over again. I punished myself by setting high standards and just going in the gym and lifting as heavy as I could and walking out. Or rolling hard every here and there when I could make it. I was always in my own head about what I was eating and how my lifts were shit or how I had a goddamn panic attack at BJJ and tapped to pressure like a wuss. Everything was tough and abusive.
It was my way of hurting myself. I was lashing out at the only person I could when things got out of control - me.
But I'm better now, and there will be no more of that bullshit. I have one more year until I'm 40 and I'll be damned if I'm crawling into my next decade all busted up and defeated. Hell no, I am going to strut my fine ass across that line, tight as fuck.
The climb is a little daunting.
The new environments are a little intimidating.
The new movement is strenuous and doesn't feel right, yet.
I need a little time to build momentum.
Most importantly, the past is the past, and I'm going to leave it there. The future is now, and it starts back at the beginning with the fundamentals.