Well it’s after 11PM as I type this and I will be heading to bed very shortly. But today is the day before the Pennsylvania State Judo Championships; and it’s time for that gut feeling to creep up on me again. I guess people who compete should get use to this, but I never do.

To be honest, it’s not the fighting that worries me. I’m not afraid I’ll get hurt, after all I have been doing judo for 15-years now. It’s not the fact I’m in a black belt division, I can hold my own. – As a teacher, I am more worried about my students then myself… But what really bothers me is simply the travel of getting there and the new location.

Lemmings Jump

I will be traveling with one of my students, as I often do, and I have traveled with them before. They know the drill, about not walking off and telling me where they will be. It seems silly, I’m an adult, I should not care about this kind of thing, should I?

Once we’re at the event, and I get oriented to the location, find bathrooms, locker rooms and mat locations. Chat with the guys I always see at these events… I’m fine… It’s the initial jump that often freezes me up and it’s so damn annoying!

As often is the case, I hide this fear very well. After all, students do not need to see me freaking out; hell, they are looking to me to calm them down! Until things get moving to occupy my mind, I’m in a state of “get me the hell out of here“… but when the task is at hand, be it photographing an event, or coaching my students, the fear switch clicks off, and I’m fine.

Elaine brought this up at our last lesson; when she was a bit surprised to my answer when she had asked, “How comfortable did you feel navigating the mall? – 1 to 5“… I told her a 3 out of 5… She says, “you hide it very well… You didn’t look nervous to me.” I don’t know what to say to that? I guess it’s all my years of teaching kids and having to show an assertive, confidante role.

I spend all my time building the confidence of others; only to realize I have little confidence in myself… Crap, did I just physco-analyze myself?

Thankfully though, thanks to some Ambien at least now days I can get some sleep before such events. That really helps, because I use to lay awake and dwell on the fear. (Relax folks, I only take the Ambien a few times a month, as needed only.) But you still need to wake up, and the fear is back, nervous, fidgety, not wanting to eat, force myself to eat breakfast, sweaty palms, upset stomach. It really sucks. – Normally about half way to the event, I manage to start feeling better.

But again it’s that initial jump! I’m really working to overcome this. That’s why I posted about it. So, do share your thoughts, please.

See you in the morning!