Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Passage of Time (10/5/10)

The passage of time dulls the pain and bitterness felt in the worst days of one's life. Rage turns to minor annoyance and crushing grief becomes nothing more than a saddening memory. In the midst of those days though, the height and intensity of one's emotions are such that we cannot imagine a time when we will not feel as strongly. But with each passing day another coin is moved on the scale of reason until finally balance is reached. Then, days or weeks or years down the road, those most distressing and angering of moments become just another piece of the puzzle. However, one can seldom cope and understand while still experiencing those things which they despise. It is only the fact that those things lie in the past that provides solace. Knowing that those experiences will never have to be repeated allows one to place them in the back of their mind, where they have little chance of stirring the bearer's mind.
It is an unfortunate scenario though, when those bad memories are given the chance to resurface, fleshed out with all their orginal intensity.
It is times like these, when I hoped to God that everything would work out and I wouldn't have to put up with this same crap again, that I remember why I left as soon as I did. Over the course of a year I had forgotten how absolutely painful these interactions were, and I let myself believe that they had never been quite as bad as I had thought. Yet here I am an entire year later, and we still get along no better than we did before. Still, every word he says makes me want to pull out my hair and scream in anger. I didn't even know it was possible to get along so poorly with any one person until now. I am not perfect, but I find it hard to believe that my behavior is worthy of such treatment...
The hardest part is that nothing can be done. I am in the same position as I was one year ago and every year before that since I was 5. Helpless and controlled, forced to respond well to the only voice that makes me feel such anger. I don't want to have this kind of relationship, but again I am reminded that it can be no other way because regardless of the effort I put forth I am rewarded with chastisement.
I have had about all I can stand and I know that I have not even received the worst of it yet.

The Body and The Mind

As I watched for the umpteenth time the graceful bodies grappling, each struggling for dominance in a passionate dance of power and will, I could not help but admire it all; the sweat, the blood, the love and addiction that is each man's jiu jitsu. These men, all of them strong and able-bodied, seemed to do so well against one another. Regardless of skill, their inherent drive to be the better opponent, to be the victor, to demonstrate their ability, provided each man with a certain vigor that transformed each roll from a game to a contest.
Over the past several weeks I have felt as though my own game was going nowhere. I felt that I was missing something, some understanding or key piece of information that would fix all of my problems. I was expecting the answer to emerge from my game; I needed to properly understand some principle of jiu jitsu in order to pull out all the stops. However, while watching these men roll tonight, it clicked. It is not a physical dilemma, but a mental one. Several months ago I identified a lack of aggression in my game. There was no fierceness, no drive, no reason to win. But the solution was not simply to be more aggressive.
The mind is responsible for many of our greatest feats, though we often overlook it and thank our bodies for performing well instead. Our mentality has a great deal to do with the level of our accomplishments; hopelessness produces inadequacy, indifference produces mediocrity, and ample faith produces greatness.
The best example I can give is that of climbing. Climbing involves a certain amount of physical commitment but is very much a mental sport. Sometimes the only difference between reaching a hold and failure is your state of mind. We always called it "psyching up" when I was growing up, that small moment of time where you tell yourself you've got it, take a deep breath, and heave your body towards that same hold you failed to reach seven times before.

Most times we let our bodies take complete responsibility for their own performance. The more I think on it and the more I experiment with my own frame of mind, the more I find that this is wrong. Our bodies are only capable of so much by themselves. After a certain point, they need help to reach their greatest potential.