Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I was away from the mat with a thing for the last two weeks. Last night was my first class back where I felt something I had not felt for a long time and certainly never to the extent it hit me yesterday.

Class was pretty normal, although we are in tournament preparation mode for Joslin's in November. And there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. The rolling portion of class Professor put me with the usual heavy hitters for my first two rolls. I felt fine, although I find it difficult to not rely somewhat on strength when out muscled. After these rolls I was paired up with an sneaky opponent that weighed less than me, causing me to move and think at a faster rate.

Near the middle of the third roll, I lost my breath but continued to roll. After my breath left me, my muscles started to work less and less. I felt clumsy and my attacks were more holey than church on Sunday. I kept trying to keep up the attack and gain position and play my game, but I could not hold anything. Credit goes to my opponent, but it was frustrating for me to feel like I could not lock anything in, which is unusual.

After the three rolls, class came to an end. While standing in line, I could not breath. I do not know what asthma feels like, but I imagine it felt like this. I knew I would not die, so it may sound strange, but I enjoyed the agony. I did my best to stay upright, although I did put my hands on my knees once or twice, and see through the fading darkness to pay attention to Professor's words during the final bow. The hardest part about being gassed is to not show that you are gassed, and to not pass out of course.

So I know why I gassed; I drove to damn fast far too early in the race. Two weeks off requires some re-building to get back to proper fighting shape, especially when you were ill. Missing classes is the fastest way to become unhealthy. The flip side is that the fastest way to getting healthy is to make it to every class. But all this lead me to an interesting paradox on gassing: the more you gas, the less you gas. I will be better next class.