A Year Later

I got a text from my main man Kenneth Farris the other day reminding me that a year ago to the day we were in China. Ken is an Olympic lifter and still holds a few record he set in China. It has been a year since I fought at the Olympic Games as well. I spent most of the weekend reminiscing and reliving that day, and the events and decisions leading up to it. Needless to say, it was a tough weekend. Time has done some things for me, but it hasn’t healed all wounds.

Since the Games, I have earned my NCSF – Certified Personal Trainer and begun working as a Personal Trainer at Equinox Fitness. I have released my first technical DVD, Ugly Judo 101: Morote Gari, and tried to begin repairing my financial life. I have not returned to school to finish up my M.S. yet.

I can count how many times I stepped onto a tatami. I did won a Silver Medal and Most Inspirational Judoka in -81kg at the 2009 USA Judo Nationals. I am very proud of what I have accomplished, but somewhat disheartened by what I am lacking.

The junior judo season is kicking up right now, with Rhadi coaching the Bahamian team it has really made me think about all that you go through as an athlete and relate to those kids in the same situation. The pressure you are under, not on competition day, but everyday leading up to it. Maintaining your diet, studying, practicing and doing everything to your utmost and living up to the expectation of both you and your coaches standard of perfection.

It makes you a better person. More effective and efficient, but although it is difficult at the time, it is so much more fun and interesting than normal day to day life. Every now and then I take a moment to myself and consider that my current daily routine could repeat itself for the rest of my life. Could that really be it?

I woke up Sunday and thought about being in China a year earlier and it nearly brought a tear to my eye. The opportunity lost seems like it will never forgive me. Not sure if it was coincidence, but I stepped on the mat last night for the second time in more than a month. Two things that never really go away is your judo, and the enjoyment in having complete domain over another individual. Being good is fun. Winning is fun.

I had a good practice. I went home and spent a lot of time thinking about what I’ve learned and lost through this experience. I wouldnt trade it for anything, but it is one heck of a burden. I have said this before, but my life as it was when we did Beyond The Rings seems so attractive right now. But the grass is always greener.

On a positive note. I have decided to quit drinking for a few months. It will definitely help me get my life together. I am looking forward to finishing up my degree and purchasing a home in the next five years. It is about time I set out a specific plan to make it happen.

5 Responses to “A Year Later”

  1. I made the decision to quit drinking for a couple of months. I was going through a body cleansing. It was the big thing back then, still is. Well, here it is almost three years later and I still am alcohol free. Giving it up was the best decision I made for myself. I’m so glad I did it. I did do a toast for a friend’s birthday once in this three year period, and I only had two swallows of it. I don’t enjoy alcohol anymore. My body is more responsive to me, I have more energy, my workouts are better, I enjoy my meals more, man, I can name lots of positive outcomes resulting from giving up alcohol.

    A few people think I am weird that I gave up alcohol. But that’s okay. Maybe one day they will understand why I did it. But even if they never do understand, I know that it was good for me to give it up.

    Good for you that you’re doing it temporarily. Even if you don’t quit for good, I think it is good for the body to take a break from it occasionally.

  2. WJ says:

    Funny that the thing that stood out the most in your post was a throw-away comment about putting down the drink.
    Funny because it apparently wasn’t throw-away enough to not stand out to the other commenter as well.
    Good for you, man.

  3. Kinanda says:

    me too!

  4. Junior says:

    goodjob taraje!
    were all still proud of you bro.

  5. Sayaka says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. I can certainly relate! Good luck with everything!

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