Athlete Journal: Valerie Worthington, Entry 14 – You Think This Story’s Over But It’s Ready to Begin

With apologies to the Beastie Boys. It’s time to hang up my Athlete Journal hat and try on one with maybe a bit more punching and kicking.


Welcome to the Athlete Journal of world-class grappler Valerie Worthington. Follow Valerie as she trains and competes in various events over the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition season. Val’s journal will be posted every Thursday.

You can catch up by reading her previous journal entries!

Complete the following sentence:

The time has come…

  1. the walrus said
  2. to say fair’s fair
  3. to discontinue writing my athlete journals

If you picked 1, you are probably thinking of cabbages and kings right now. If you picked 2, you may have gone to high school with me. If you picked 3, you are correct, though you might be happy to know that I will still be writing twice a week for Breaking Muscle. At least, I hope you will be happy to know this.

There were several reasons for the decision to put my athlete journal on ice for the foreseeable future. On my end, as you can read about in some of my more recent entries, it’s time for me to focus more on having fun and returning to a more playful orientation to BJJ rather than being as intense as athletes need to be when they are preparing for competition. This is because I can’t be trusted with my own well-being and happiness when I put that kind of pressure on myself – at least at the moment.

On Breaking Muscle’s end, they have approached me about expanding the scope of my articles to include more about the other martial arts, and I have jumped at the chance – yet again, I have much to be grateful to them for. So I have the opportunity to continue to write about the things I’m passionate about, and to expand upon this.

And while I’m learning to love myself again, I’m less interested in writing about myself, strictly, and more interested in visiting upon an unwitting public my observations about how martial arts relate to life. Kind of a Grasshopper of the Seinfeldian tradition. (“Didja ever notice how probably 80 percent of the sweat on your body after a no-gi class isn’t even yours? That’s gotta be a metaphor for something. Am I right? Huh? Huh??? Is this thing on?”)

So, with this, Athlete Journal 14, it’s time to say so long and thanks for all the fish (oil). I am grateful to all of you who read and commented on these entries, and I hope you’ll 1) continue to read the journal entries of the amazing and fascinating athletes who are still sharing their training and competition journeys, 2) read the articles I write for Breaking Muscle going forward, 3) feel free to contact me with suggestions or requests for topics to cover. You can email me at [email protected].

And you might be interested to know that I trained the other day for the first time in two weeks. Consider my attitude adjusted, as if I were a mental chiropractor. I had an absolute blast just playing around, getting swept, balancing on top of my partner like I was on a beach ball, trying different movement patterns to see what happens. We’ll see how long that lasts, but in this moment, I am back to love.

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