"There are times when a person gets carried away and talks on without thinking much. But this can be seen by observers when one's mind is flippant and lacking truth. After such an occasion it is best to come face to face with the truth and express it. The truth will then be arrived at in one's own heart, too." From The Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai
Except for a brief, disastrous stint on the eighth grade basketball B-team, I have never played team sports. I was on the swim team through junior high and high school, which technically still made me part of a team, but it's still a solo endeavor. For a guy who spends a healthy amount of time inside his own head, it's a perfect sport, because when you're in the water there's nothing to do but think. You can't talk with your teammates, the scenery consists entirely of the feet of the swimmer in front of you, and the repetitive motion and breathing puts you into something almost like a trance state. There were times I wrote entire papers in my head during workouts, and then put them down on paper once I got to school.
This was an aspect of sports that really appealed to me, the introspective part.
Last night I told a lie to my parents. It was a panicked moment where I wasn't sure what to say, and I used the first believable thing that came to mind. The thing is, even as I told the lie, I knew that I couldn't sustain it, and that I'd have to tell the truth eventually. Here I am, 35 years old, still letting nerves get the best of me when I talk to my folks. They had invited us over for dinner, and then offered to keep the kids while I went to class.
In class, I partnered with Jay again. He's a good guy, I like him. The class focused on the half-guard position. Take your right foot and put it up on your left knee, so that your legs make a 4. Now imagine that you are lying down and you have a guy's leg trapped in there. That is the half guard. We spent the first part of class working on what you can do next if you have somebody in your guard, and the last part working on how to shut those things down if you are the guy on top. I'm not going to spend a bunch of time describing them.
At the end of class, when it was time to wrestle, I can't really describe what happened, but Jay and I both really switched it on. Like I said, he's a nice guy, but there was a point when I looked into his face and it was just a mask of aggression. Even though I couldn't see my own face, I suddenly felt it in detail, and knew that it was a mirror of his. And then, I don't know - I just went inside. My mind was both in the fight and a thousand miles away from it. I knew in that moment that I needed to tell the truth, and how I was going to do it.
Both of us won a couple of falls, and then we had to quit from sheer exhaustion. On the last one, he put me into an arm bar, and it hurt. Telling my parents I'd lied to them hurt, too. There was no tapping out of it. I'm not entirely sure where the situation is right now. But I am glad that I had the chance to look inside for long enough to strengthen my resolve.