She’s a beast
Mouse: I haven’t been to the gym in three months – or trained in anything at all. Plus I have an exam the day before.
Her: Oh, I’ll still do it. I just can’t prep for it. Keep your expectations low.
She ended up passing her exam on Saturday and came by immediately afterward.
Her: I didn’t even bring any clothes to compete in.
Me: You have your top and you can wear a pair of my leggings.
Her: Well, I guess I’m doing this then.
Unfortunately, both she and I were overweight for the competition: Me by three pounds, she by five. Lots of people gave me lots of advice about losing weight but I’ve been on a diet since I was 14. So I ignored all of them and did my own thing.
Me: Do wanna have a porterhouse steak with butter?
Her: Should we?
Me: Probably not, but I’m doing it.
Her: OK, I’ll have one too.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. I, unfortunately, had a completely sleepless night the night before and was going to bail but since Mouse was going, I decided to just do my best.
Plus, she and I both ended up losing seven pounds so that I was underweight by four pounds and she was under by two. (!)
My coach and my cousin, Ras, both came to support us.
Me: God, I can’t stop thinking about everything I’m gonna eat after this is over.
I think I went in with the wrong intent: Essentially, I got onto the mat thinking, “OK, don’t get hurt.” The other guy came to win.
He told me afterward that he had a lot of experience competing and it showed – while I struggled to understand what my coach was trying to tell me, he was a machine, instantly doing everything his coach was telling him to do on the side.
I was doing ok for most of it but ended up having to chose between getting my ankle broken or surrendering at three minutes and 58 seconds. Chose the former.
Other guy: (afterward) I was wasn’t expecting you to jump guard like that!
Me: (laughing) I wasn’t expecting you to be able to break out of it like that.
That’s my story.
Mouse ended up winning all FOUR of her matches and taking home the gold. And she won all four matches by submission no less – that’s like winning four times in a row by knockout. It was an amazing thing to watch.
Coach: Damn, she’s a beast! Logan missed the whole thing!
Me: I’m standing right here!
Him: (turns to see me, laughs) Oh, I didn’t…
Me: Don’t worry about it, I was as engrossed as you were.
Mouse literally walked onto the mat with zero preparation – and spent the last week with her nose buried in study material – yet still took the gold from three other women who probably trained for months.
It was super impressive. Most of it, anywho.
Her: I’m gonna throw up.
As for me, everything went exactly as I planned for most of it; I followed my plan. The other guy was just better and put me in something I couldn’t escape.
Pac: You did the right thing, you know. If you didn’t know the escape, that means a broken ankle.
Me: I know. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t think to review that particular sequence.
Him: Well, now you know for next time.
Me: (laughing) Next time?
I forgot to tell you how Pac convinced me to do it. He told me to do it for the kid.
Him: You want him to know that his parents weren’t afraid of anything. And that they always tried – win, lose, or draw. You want him to know that you always tried.
Me: Dammit. You’re right. Fine, I’ll do it.
Wish I brought home the win, but I came back uninjured and generally happy for my coach and Mouse.
I did what I want him to always do, I tried. Just like the people I chose to hang around do, like Mouse. Just like his mama always did.
Boy: Will you read to me?
Me: Papa’s tired. I…you know what? Sure. (he hands me a book) Ah, Pigs Make Me Sneeze!
Him: (laughing) Pigs can’t make you sneeze!
Me: It’s a mystery – let’s find out.
Location: Last Sunday, uptown eating a ton of fried chicken and then icing my ankle
Music: Guard your grill, knuckle up
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