That moment. I’ve been fighting and training to avoid it and you. I’ve wanted no part of meeting you, I don’t even have a prepared set of words for the moment. At the very least I could come up with some bullshit excuse. It was my weight, wasn’t it? I work fulltime, the kids are screaming, and my wife gave me those sad eyes so I stayed home instead of training. My opponent belonged to a more well-known school, his belt color was faded and looked more worn than mine. His Gi had sponsored patches, and he had four stripes to my one.
Part of me wants to say anything just to lessen the weight of this moment. The point in time when a friend or family member asks you about your most recent competition. You know, the one you lost. You could come up with an epic tale of how you lost to a seven foot sandbagger but your pride won’t allow you to. You would rather be faced with that look of pity that’s bound to come, than create a lie about your failure.
I despise that look and everything it comes with. Don’t pity me. Don’t feel bad for me or try to console me with, “you’ll do better next time”. You have no idea how much I’ve put into preparing. You have no idea how many mornings I’ve wanted to call out from work because parts of my body groan against simple movement.
You have no idea how hard it has been to try to train around and damn near right through an injury. Especially one that strains against your own weight let alone that of a teammate trying to do his best to submit you. I won’t tell him how serious it is and how it affects me. He’s progressing and I don’t want to cloud that with my excuses. Plus, I don’t want his pity any more than I want yours. Pity isn’t going to do me any good so save it.
There is absolutely nothing to pity me about. I will have learned more about my game and myself as a person through this experience than if I had won. So as much as I would have loved the win, there’s something I didn’t do. A mistake I made is what determined the outcome. That mistake will be rectified, so don’t pity me. If you feel the need to pity anyone, pity my next opponents!