Last year I read a book, “The Cauliflower Chronicles” by Marshal Carper. A pretty good book about his experience as a white belt training in Hawaii with BJ Penn. I recently ran across an article he wrote. It discussed the immense amount of time and effort the truly great grapplers (in this case, Marcelo Garcia) dedicate to their art. Train, teaching, and competing full time. It reminded me of a discussion with Damian that I had a while back about Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”. One of Gladwell’s thesis was that it takes 10,000 hours of practice or experience to become great at something.
10,000 hours, at 5 hours per week…is 39 years. It’s pretty likely that I’ll never reach that point. But that isn’t the goal. Which reminds me of a quote by game designer Reiner Knizia: “When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.” Play to win, but enjoy the playing.
A outsider may look at me, at my rate of progress, at my successes and failures in the gym and in competition, and wonder…what’s the point? I’ll never be great, or a champion…in fact, I’m be happy merely to be competitive against other people of my age, size, and ability. Helping those following me on the jiu jitsu path, and learning via failure with those ahead of me are bonuses.
So wrapping all of these ideas together has lead me to this….do my best, have fun, and enjoy the result.
But not much this week. Crossfit on Tuesday wrecked me. I’ve been hobbling around ever since. I’ve been trying to get into a rhythm, but it’s been one thing after another recently.