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. And that made the experience worth it.
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 a great book. I just happened to find it in the airport. After that, I breezed through 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.