I started last week off right with an early morning hike on St-Hilaire with my parents. We used to go nearly every day last summer, so I have been missing my mountain, and was really glad to be back.
After the hike I set off for Toronto, but not before stopping at a park to train with Alyssa. I wasn’t liking the way I would train every day in Toronto, then get to Montreal and do nothing, so it is really nice to have friends that I can train with every time I come to town. We did some pad work and she taught me some kicks, but an hour definitely wasn’t long enough.
Once in Toronto, I pretty much went straight to 4 Points for Jiu-Jitsu. It was my friend Shiva’s first class, and while I have been doing this longer and know more technique, she is strong and fierce and tough and will definitely be annihilating me once she figures out what to do. A few of us ended up going out after class and talking for hours about the industry and stuff. I learnt a bunch of things and had a wonderful time
On Tuesday, I worked as an SP and at 4 Points, where I finished off my evening with NOGI. Shiva was there again, which is only the second time that I have not been the only girl for a NOGI class, the last time being when I brought Christine. Shiva is clearly committed and will probably be there as much as me now.
On Wednesday I had a dry run as an SP in the morning, then spent the rest of the day hanging out/working with Ayisha. We got the footage Hubert Boorder put together after the workshop and it is incredible. The footage, yes, but also the fact that he took the time to put it all together for us. I am slightly flabbergasted, but then again everyone I speak to tells me that he is the nicest guy ever. Shiva was there again for jiu-jitsu, and for the steak night that came afterwards. It was the first time I actually ordered the steak rather than some other carb wrapped meat thing on the menu, and while it was very good, I think I prefer my burgers and chicken wraps.
On Thursday I sent my materials out to some Toronto agents, because although I have been consistently busy doing things, the agent search is definitely something that has been neglected as of late. Once that was done, I met up with Ayisha and had my first experience putting together ikea furniture. It probably would have gone better with a hammer, but we still accomplished our task. At NOGI that night, probably because I don’t listen when I am told that grabbing people’s heads won’t help me, David taught everyone how to choke me when I am in that position. I know that the guys all go easy on me; rolling slower, letting me get one (a few) over on them, not putting their weight on me and so on (appreciate the honesty Jonathon), but I also feel like they have been going slightly less easy on me, and that I am giving more of a (or hopefully a better) fight. So although I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to do this move that made me feel like I was accomplishing something, I really appreciate the push it will give me to do better. I am a huge fan of baby steps and goals, so this month I wanted to not always be the one tapping out. I already transitioned from accustomating myself to being crushed under someone’s side control to making sure I never have more than one butt cheek and shoulder on the mat, but Ayisha has been pushing me to try harder and not let myself get to that position at all. Although the baby steps are more comfortable for me, they may not be the best idea. Yes, it is easier to turn onto my side rather than to get back up on my knees after I am thrown down, but I would clearly rather escape before someone closes their grip on me instead of getting myself used to being crushed. I take pride in always going back in there immediately after tapping out, but going into rolls assuming I am going to be the one to tap out is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. And as Ayisha told me, I am clearly not giving my 100%, because I am not dead after a roll, and I should be (She gives the best motivational speeches ; ) )
On Friday I trained, working on choreography stuff in a martial art that I am completely unfamiliar with, before going on a date where I discovered there is a free farm/petting zoo thing super close to my house. I no longer have a kid living with me, but I was super excited, and can’t wait to bring my roommates to see it. I drove back to Montreal with a friend once it was over, ready for a fun, family-filled weekend.
On Saturday I went for a fitting for my bridesmaid dress, because it wasn’t quite right, then brought my cousins to the hall so we could help get everything set up for the party that night. Luckily, we finished just in time to get ready and have lunch before the photographer arrived for the photoshoot. We were a bit torn, because my grandfather loves being in pictures and my grandmother hates it, but ultimately, we want to record the memories, especially happy ones.
The party was incredible, not just as far as parties go (and getting to see everyone, friends and family, from near or far), but for what it represented. A huge reason why my grandparents do this kind of party is because they got tired of only seeing certain family members at funerals, so these ensure we will see everyone for happy occasions too. More than anything though, it was amazing because it celebrates not only their 80th birthdays, but the 60 years that they have spent being married to each other. They raised 3 kids and 6 grandkids, ran businesses, built buildings and kept not only our immediate family close, but everyone. Their door and their hearts are always open and they bring everyone together. A lot of people were saying my grandparents were their relationship goals because of the 60 years, and I hope to be lucky enough to get there as well, but it is so much more than the years. It is the love and respect they have for each other, how they are a team; an unbreakable team that can get through and accomplish anything.
On Sunday morning, I got up early and headed to Montreal to do a self-tape with Christine, who convinced me to try her protein shake, which was actually kind of delicious. The scene was in French, which is fun to practice, and she had to take on a bit of a different essence, which was really nice to watch, and made me really miss being in class all the time.
I had to leave to go train with Alyssa, again in the park, and again with the pad work and the kicks, but we did different ones, and worked on a combo as well. Hopefully we will put aside more time for our next training session, because I really enjoy working with and learning from her.
That afternoon, I went to the gym with a friend in stunts, thinking we were going to do more pad work, maybe learn a little combo or something, but instead we did all the weights and conditioning stuff they had told me to do back in April, and more. Dead lifts, split squats, pull ups, dips, abs, another kind of squats, neck exercises, other things I don’t know the name of…It obviously wasn’t as fun as what I thought we were going to do, but I can definitely see how necessary and beneficial it all was. And it will be a lot easier to keep up with it now that I have done it and know what it is supposed to look like. Also, there were a lot of things I wasn’t sure I could do, but just tried anyway, and felt like a total badass afterwards (there were also things I kind of failed at, but baby steps, and I’ll be better next time.)
Once training was done, I went to my grandparents’ for another big family supper, where I finally got to meet Jaelyne, who is so sweet and adorable. She also has muscles that could give most people, including me, a run for their money.
On Monday my mom and I went for a hike, and then I met JF for coffee before driving with a friend back to Toronto. I had intentions of going to gymnastics that night, but my legs didn’t quite agree, and I was exhausted from a weekend of late nights and early mornings. I don’t exactly hate my friend who trained me on Sunday, but let’s say they aren’t currently my favourite person either.
“Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.”