The Dark Teatime of the Roll: When Training Gets Derailed

There are times when my life is absolutely on point. This is not one of those. I’m not getting my training in, and I’m not going to anytime soon, at least not to the level I’m used to and prefer.

There are times when my life is absolutely on point. I’m on top of things in my personal and professional arenas, my writing feels effortless, and I am training regularly, frequently, and purposefully. I’m like Neo in The Matrix, dodging life’s bullets before they even leave the gun.

This is not one of those times.

I’m in that place again: The dark teatime of the roll. I end up here every now and then, and I don’t like it, but it’s part of my life and my grappling journey. It’s that place where I think about the recent past and look to the immediate future and draw the same conclusion: I’m not getting my training in, and I’m not going to anytime soon, at least not to the level I’m used to and prefer.

One of the many things that makes it frustrating is that there’s nothing specific to point to. I’m not injured, I’m not sick, I’m not working to meet one specific deadline. Rather, my other priorities are, well, taking priority, as they sometimes do. And I understand and embrace these other priorities; otherwise I wouldn’t refer to them as such. But the analogy I like to use about balancing our lives being like balancing on a Swiss ball or a moving bus breaks down, as all analogies do. It does so in terms of time. What I mean is, in the analogy, the adjustments we make to our balance are immediate, and so are the results of those adjustments. In the analogy, we can immediately restore some semblance of uprightness to ourselves.

Oh, to live in the analogy. In real life, it seems that the adjustments I make take a while to yield results, and before that can happen, it takes a while for me to realize an adjustment is warranted and then another while to create the opportunity for the adjustment. Just as it can take some time to get out of balance and make the unwanted slide toward the crazy, it can also take some time to restore that balance.

Lately I’ve been juggling things like the demands of a newish job, my commitment to seeing my family on a regular basis, my writing, my work with Women’s Grappling Camp, which just finished a spectacular edition at Brazil 021 in Chicago, and the other things I insist on doing, like sleeping and showering. I’ve been getting in a little training of my own, but as I mentioned, it’s not very much relative to what I’m used to.

A further issue is that the farther away I get from a regular training routine, the harder it is for me to see my way clear to getting back to one. What I mean is, I know in the back of my mind that I’m out of practice, out of shape, and lacking my timing and sharpness, and I don’t want to have to acknowledge the steps I have taken backward in order to move forward again.

You’ve probably gathered by now that this place I’m in could be accurately called The Whiny Place. I know the right things to do to get back on track, things like ride out this time frame, look on the bright side, acknowledge that I’m making choices, that I need to own both the good and bad consequences of my choices, and be grateful that I have other priorities to prioritize. Unfortunately for me, though, I’m human, and sometimes I can’t follow all the advice I see fit to dispense to others. Eventually I get there, but I do have the wambulance on speed dial.

So at the time of this writing, I’m getting ready to mope on over to training, at which point I will try to make myself snap out of it so as not to bummer up anyone else’s experience. And if past dark place visits are any indication, I will be much perkier on the other side of this training session, at least for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow I may wake up and find myself still struggling to retain my training balance, hoping that the large and small changes I’ve made toward that end (I’m done with traveling for the foreseeable future, I’m almost caught up on outstanding work, I have a weekend coming up to get back to it), will get me there.

Meanwhile, I’ll feel sorry for myself and try not to visit my self-pity on anyone else. Except anyone who reads this.

Am I the only poopy-pants in this crowd, or do you sometimes find yourself behind the eight-ball and cranky about it? Post your plaintive observations to comments.

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.