So after a brief stint of Workaway volunteering in Verviers, I have arrived in the city of Leuven, Belgium. I am probably totally under-prepared for this week, my partying skills are much sharper than my grappling at this minute. But I don’t care. I’m finally getting to meet the BJJ Globetrotters.
It’s about damn time.
Leuven Summer camp Day One
Pace yourself they said. List to your body they said. It’ll be fun they said. And they were so, so right. In typical fashion I turned up to the first class of camp: early, enthusiastic, & somewhat hung-over. Not the most intelligent start, to be sure. An excited exploration of the town upon arrival turned more drunken than expected as I failed to take into account the strength & tastiness of Belgian beers; some being in the 12% range & all being super flavoursome. Under these circumstances, I waded into the fray with about 200 other grapplers from all over the world.
First round: introduction & speed dating. This went well. After a brief welcome speech from Christian, things went ‘full-retard’. A free for all social introduction amongst 200 BJJ enthusiasts, broken down into 1 minute rounds. Hilarious, absolutely hilarious. I’ve never done speed-dating before, I certainly didn’t expect to be doing with a group of 90% men, most of whom wore tights & could pull my arms out of their sockets. Fantastic. Really really fantastic.
Next was ‘G-Spot’ guard passing & with the step into physical exertion, my hangover really began to shine. I flailed like a small child out there, my sweat smelling of rum as my hazy mind struggled to focus on the techniques. It wasn’t pretty. But it was pretty amusing.
As the day wore on, I slowly powered out of my malaize. I had the pleasure of being ‘Twistered’ by Nick Dalby. I joined an open matt with over a hundred other grapplers. I was submitted by white belts & blue belts. I met a 15 year old attending his very first BJJ lesson. I laughed, I tapped, I rolled. And all was well in the world again.
That post training feeling, ahhhh nothing like it. I feel more like my true self somehow, like I’m spending my time the way I should be. Acting like the man I want to be. I stumbled out of the stadium sweaty, exhausted & grinning from ear to ear.
(This is what a Twister looks like btw. Go the Korean Zombie!)
Being connected with your passion, it’s truly beautiful. Do what you love kids, even if you suck at it. Aligning hard work with the things you love, I think that’s how you win in life.
Hopefully tomorrow, I can actually move, because I’m kinda sore right now. My new grappling friends are heading out drinking tonight. The voice of reason in my tells me to stay home.
Whatever will I do?
Peace. Love. And Triangles, finally! Finally Triangles!