I had a plan. It was simple and elegant. It just didn’t work out the way that I wanted it to.
Oh no, I’m not talking about the tournament yet. We’ll get there, but first we’re going to go a little further back in time to that Friday night.
I arrived in Los Angeles around 8 pm local time. The first goal was to get from there to my hotel without spending much. To achieve that objective, I relied on past experience.
In my mind, I remembered the transit route that I had taken with a teammate over two years ago to get to the same hotel. I thought it was so simple that I didn’t even spend much time verifying it.
So I got off the plane, got all my bags and hopped onto the shuttle to get to the green line. Ended up going in the wrong direction on the metro, so I had to hop off and correct that little error.
Alright, alright, now we’re moving.
I transfer from the green line to the blue line then hop off at Anaheim not far from 7th St. The hotel was located on 7th St, and I thought that I didn’t have far to go….
Once I got to 7th St, I started in one direction. It felt wrong. So I turned around and asked someone which direction leads to Cal State Long Beach since the hotel was right next to it.
I’m glad I did since that allowed me to fix one small error without much pain.
Anyway, I continued along, and I still hadn’t let go of the idea that I didn’t have far to go just yet. One block turned into two then three and so on until I got that sense that something was wrong again.
I called the hotel and told her where I was to get an estimate on how far I had to go. The first response was that I was about 5 miles away. Whoa. That didn’t match well with my memory, so I restated my location and asked again.
This time, she told me to just keep going.
Alright, so I kept walking and once again one block turned into two then three and so on. At some point, I got the urge to actually look at a sign to see which block I was on.
The sign read 2700 and the address of the hotel was 5665. By that point, I had already walked a good 15-20 blocks. So I had already completed roughly 1/3 of the journey.
At that point, I could have made the rest of the journey easier for myself. I could have called a cab or I could have walked to the other side of the road and caught a bus.
Either option would be been easier, but I chose the hard path because I wanted to see if I had the will to keep walking. And I proved that I did.
The Day Before
On Saturday, I decided not to go to the venue because I wanted to focus on mental preparation and stimulation. I happened to have some good books on hand to help with that task as well.
The first task was to finish up Slow Down, Sell Faster!. It was simply a great book. I just happened to find it in the airport. After that, I breezed through Blink and read a section in As We Speak that focused on peak performance and psychological state over and over again.
I also applied some of the lessons found in that last book to prepare myself for the task ahead.
The No-Gi Worlds
The first challenge in the tournament for me was John Hansen. I had to beat him to get into the medal rounds, and I went into that match in a good state of mind.
I really wish that I had video of the match since it was competitive. The balance tipped back and forth, and in the end the outcome was decided on a small margin. The score was 4-4 2-1.
There are of course things I can critique, but the past can’t be changed, only learned from. I’ll take what I learned and apply it to my training from here on out.
There were two things that happened after the match that were quite interesting though.
The first thing is that the ref came up to me after the match and explained why he made certain decisions about the advantages. He also congratulated me on the match and told me that it was one of the best that he’d seen all day.
The second thing is that I killed my opponent. Not literally of course, but he died in his second match shortly after it began. It was quite the shock when he started heaving and spewing all kinds of toxic chemicals onto the mat.
Oh, and he blamed me for it too. He claimed that I hit him below the belt during our match.