ang heneral (the general)*

* or the day i met the main man from manila

i wanted to reserve this post for later, when meeting our head coach would have involved some form of direct training with him. but i figured by that time, i might have moved on to another area of interest, me being flighty and all. also, to date, the hubby has skimmed through my posts and, i think, one of my coaches (i’ll see if i can call his bluff. hah.). so my posts about jiujitsu might be far and few in between soon.

i almost met the head coach last year, barely a month after i started jiujitsu, as he was scheduled to train with the team. but the hubby told me that should i choose to attend the training, it would be best for me to stay off the mats and listen, instead of join them on the mats (whatever his reasons were, i am sure in his head it made sense).

that was around the time i took a break from jiujitsu.

“Wala na tayong panahon para sa mga bagay na hindi natin kayang panindigan.” (We do not have time for things we cannot fight for.) – Isabel

we were introduced to each other briefly in a bjj competition in cebu, the queen city of the south. i’m not sure if it were his height, his size, his deep voice, or a combination of all three, but i knew that should this man tell me to do hip escapes for like a hundred times, i would do so without question (the only other person that brings out this type of fear in me is one of my coaches).

to be clear, it’s me, not them. really.

“Nasubukan mo na bang hulihin ang hangin?” (Have you tried catching air?) – Pres. Aguinaldo

our head coach turned out to be one of those few people who can be cool and warm at the same time (however, i do hope that i only have to roll with him once in my entire life. if i can help it).

“when you roll on the mats, it shows who you are…”, he says over dinner a few days ago (couldn’t join the training as i had work this time) amidst conversation about food, college, and fears. “if you are going through something in your life…if you are committed or not”.

i almost choked on my food. it was a bit unnerving hearing this out loud.

“May mas malaki tayong kalaban…ang ating sarili.” (We have a bigger enemy… ourselves.) – Heneral Luna

most of my life i have been (a bit of) an overachiever. and, initially, it was what was weighing me down on the mats. i was frustrated, disappointed – angry even – largely because it was not making any sense to me and i was not moving the way i should. i gritted my teeth hard every time i would (try to) roll (my tmj dysfunction acted out for some time. it was that bad.). this and pride (over an indirectly-related matter) got the better of me and so i decided to stop without any plans of coming back (or so i thought).

“Ganito ba talaga ang tadhana natin? Kalaban ang kalaban. Kalaban ang kakampi. Nakakapagod.” (Is this really our fate? Our enemies are our enemies. Our allies are our enemies. This is tiresome.) – Heneral Luna

looking back, the four-month break seemed to be necessary. it was clear to me that i wanted to train. however, i needed to: manage expectations (even if others have not managed their expectations of me. hah.); take things in stride (i tell myself there is time, a few more years before i turn forty, before whatever motor skills i have start to decline. seriously.) and (try to) ignore the doubt in my head.

i came back at my pace, at what is comfortable for me. i’m sure this non-commitment (i would like to think of it as self-preservation) has been clear as day when i stepped on the mats again. not that i don’t take this seriously because i do. but i am still in the process of trying to figure out how much of myself i can give to this sport (i do write about it, after all). my coaches have respected my, er, conflicted self and for that i am grateful (see, this is what happens when i know any from my team – my coach at that – reads this. lol.)

“Hindi pagdurusa ang pagdaan sa matinding pasakit. Para kang tumanggap ng basbas, parang pag-ibig.” (To experience great pain is not suffering. It is like receiving a blessing, like love.) – Colonel Paco Román

and so, here i am, still (rocking and) rolling. oss!

*hugot quotes are from the movie Heneral Luna




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