Getting Ready for PanAms (Athlete Journal 51)

This past week has definitely been a burner for me. We’ve been drilling and rolling nonstop, and I’m making sure every minute of training counts.

It’s the last week of hard training before the No Gi Pan Ams. I’m a little bit nervous and a lot excited. But most of all, I’m sore.

This past week has definitely been a burner for me. We’ve been drilling and rolling nonstop to make sure we’re in top shape for the Pans. I’m making sure every minute of training counts. I’m getting the hardest training I possibly can while still staying safe. It would feel so yucky if I stepped onto those mats in New York City thinking I could have trained harder. Having confidence while you’re competing is a plus, and the only way to get that confidence is to train.

In most of the advanced classes this week, we’ve been doing a lot of drilling and rolling rather than learning techniques. Tuesday was the exception to that because Rafa Mendes, de la Riva extraordinaire, is coming to Scranton MMA this Saturday. So, Dominic wanted to go over the berimbolo with us. We’re not entirely sure what Rafa will be showing us during the seminar, but we can safely bet that it might be something berimbolo-related. Dom wanted to make sure everyone knows the basics of the move, just in case we have the opportunity to explore it even deeper during the seminar.

This Week’s Diva Moment

Lots of great things have been happening in my life recently, but apparently that doesn’t make me immune to diva moments. Four of us were playing king of the mountain on Thursday. In this scenario, two people start sparring and whoever gets the first point wins. The winner stays in and a fresh opponent is sent in to try and beat him or her. As long as you keep scoring points on people, you get to stay in the center.

While we were playing, I kept getting tapped by the same submission over and over. I got frustrated with myself because I kept putting myself in that same position where my opponent was taking the submission. Unfortunately, I kept making the same mistake and I lost my cool. The mind can only take so much before it needs to explode. I wasn’t mad at my teammate. I was mad at myself for making the same mistake over and over. At least I know something I need to work on, though.

Soreness and Lack of Sleep

With all of this intense training I’ve been doing to get ready for the No Gi Pan Ams, I’ve been extremely sore. I try to give it my all during practice, but it’s been killing my muscles more than usual.

It also doesn’t help that I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I have to wake up between six and seven every morning to get to school. I don’t mind it as long as I get to bed early and get enough hours of sleep. Lately, though, I either have to stay up and finish homework or I haven’t been able to fall asleep. Both situations suck. I don’t think I’m getting enough sleep to help my body recover, which makes me super sore every day. I need to crack down and get as much rest as I can next week so I can be 100% to compete.

And that’s all, folks. I hope you all enjoy your week!

Jess Papi 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.

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