Athlete Journal: Jess Papi, Entry 6 – 11/9/2013

I have two lessons for you this week that are helping me get better at jiu jitsu and life in general. One of them involves Dunkin’ Donuts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the athlete journal of Jess Papi. Jess is a blue belt at Scranton MMA and also pursuing her degree in exercise science. Read her entries every week for insights on competing, training, and juggling BJJ and life.

I haven’t really been myself this week. I think I’m starting to get sick because I’ve been sneezing and sniffling quite a bit. I don’t think it’ll put me out of commission, but it has been making me a little tired. I definitely don’t feel 100% when I train, but I’ll get over it soon. I will be competing in December as long as other women enter my bracket, so I need to make my training count. I’ve had some heavy stuff on my mind lately, but I would rather talk about all the good stuff that happened this week. I‘m going to start from the least significant and work my way up.

First, I will tell you something that I find very exciting, but you probably won’t care. Ready? Dunkin’ Donuts now has the peppermint mocha flavor! I told you the first one would be insignificant, but I’m a nineteen-year-old girl so this is amazing news for me.

This next one is also not terribly important, but a little more interesting. After a nice Twitter conversation with a few of my lady BJJ friends, I decided to pick up drawing again. I used to draw a lot when I was younger but I stopped because I got so busy. There aren’t even any doodles in my notebooks. I started drawing again because it helps me release some stress. I might even do some cool jiu jitsu art soon!

The third thing is just plain amazing. You may recall from my previous entries that I was stressing about physics. I did terribly on the first test so I had to do well on the second one. I took the test last Tuesday and got it back this week. I got a 93%! I need to put this into perspective for you. This grade is so good that my friend was introducing me to random people and telling them I got a 93. It is especially awesome because I was still able to keep up with my training while getting ready for this test.

Okay, now we’re on to the jiu jitsu stuff. I’m sorry to torture you with my boring life, but I’m a nerd and I get excited about the little things.

A few of my teammates are competing on November 9th, so this week was all about getting them ready, fine-tuning their skills, and making sure they understand all the rules. I like the week before a tournament because I get to learn a lot about my teammates’ favorite moves and why they use them. It’s cool to see what positions they are most confident in. I can even pick up little tips and tricks from them.

As promised, I saved the best for last. I had a chance to train at Balance Studios this week. Like I said in my last entry, training there is just awesome. Every time I go I meet new people and reconnect with others. After a great lesson on S mount from Ricky Migliarese, I had a chance to roll with a lot of men and women. I love training at different schools because I pick up on things that we might do differently at our school. It gives me a new perspective. I especially like Balance because they are always hospitable and there a lot of upper belts to learn from.

There you go! You got a peek into my normal world and some info on my training. I have two messages for you this week:

  1. Make a big deal out of the little things in life. You can’t expect to be crowned the Queen of England or see a unicorn every day so you have to get excited about the little accomplishments and happenings.
  2. Train at different schools. I can’t stress this enough, especially if you train at a smaller school. Unfortunately there are schools and networks out there who don’t allow their students to travel and train. But if you shelter yourself, you will only learn a finite amount of information. Traveling and studying at other academies allows you to get so much more out of your BJJ training.

That’s all I have, folks. Peace!

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