#BJJEUROPEANCHAMPIONSHIP2016

The journey

In my last post, I spoke about the trip to Lisbon. Tonight I want to close this chapter sharing with you my physical and mental journey.

I was promoted brown belt in October, and had my first competition in November, I lost in the first fight...A blessing in disguise. On that day I knew I had to work hard and harder to be ready to compete in the European Championship 2016. 

My plan was the following: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 5-6.30am BJJ DRILLS and Techniques with my Friend and Purple Belt training partner Luke. Monday 7-8pm and Saturday 12-1.30pm BJJ Sparring at Icon BJJ Norwich under the supervision of my coach black belt two stripes Steve Cowan. 

Conditioning with the Train For Life Crew on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 6.45-7.30am. Spinning on Tuesday 6-6.45pm, Friday 6.45-7.30am and one hour either Saturday or Sunday.

Heavy lifting wednesday 6-6.45am and Saturday or Sunday 6-6.30am.

On top the training, I had to do something I do not recommend to anybody. I had to lose 5kg in 25 days. I had to lose the little fat I had accumulated over Xmas. I am quite a lean person so I don't have a lot to lose anyway, so it was really hard to be on a diet, to put up with the training, my job, be a good father and a good husband.

I failed as a father and a husband, I was a shadow at home...I am a driven and focused person, so in order to achieve my goals I had to prioritise. It is hard to say but it is the truth, you cannot achieve your goals without being obssessed. 

The obssession, the drive the focus lead to the pressure, the responsibilities.

My trip to PRESSURE LAND:

When you train so much, you seem to only think about your competition. You feel external and internal pressure.

External pressure comes from You guys, the people who care for me, see me training on a daily or read my tale on Facebook or Instagram. Your support is priceless or actually does have a price... I felt OBLIGED TO REPAY YOU BY ACHIEVING SOMETHING BIG.

That payback leads to the Internal pressure.

THE INTERNAL PRESSURE: 

I competed in over 20 BJJ tournaments and won beyond 80% of my over 50 fights including 2 Gold, 1 silver at  European Championship, 1 Gold and 1 Bronze at the British Open, 3 Gold at the English Open....

A long story short, the PRESSURE I felt during the preparation of this tournament was hardly sustainable. 

I wanted to win so badly that I was doubting of myself, I was scared, nervous. I was like a novice, like someone who was competing for the first time. But it wasn't MY FIRST TIME, I WAS BORN A COMPETITOR, I COMPETED MY WHOLE LIFE. I COMPETED SO FIERCELY THAT I BECAME A CHAMPION, WITH HIS PRIVILEGES AND HIS DUTIES. 

What I have been suffering during the last week is the weight of my duties.

I have to be a role model, a source of inspiration a True Leader and A WINNER. 

What competing taught me over the years is that the pressure disappears as soon as the competition starts. Guess what...I felt good as soon as I get in the venue. I felt free and ready to fight as soon as I was facing my opponent. Once in front of him I was ready to die to make things happen. 

Once I reached the semi-final, I was at peace with myself as I completed my part of the deal which was to bring a medal home.

In all fairness the guys who did Silver and Gold were better than me today. I will be back to train on Tuesday as I plan to beat them the next we meet. 

 That Bronze feels like Gold, my hardest battle so far... 

That Bronze feels like Gold, my hardest battle so far...