I Miss You All


How long has it been now? Since we had a big open mat? Music playing, sweating, exhausted. The round ends and I see an old friend stopping in. Maybe someone just back from an injury. Meeting a new person, or a visitor. Big smiles. Hugs. The timer beeps again and we are back at it. There’s laughter in the room, and frustration, the whole myriad of human emotion and all the various ways we express it there in that room with friends who we don’t even know. I’m trusting my life to a guy I don’t know his last name. It’s intimate, it’s intense, exhilarating and calming all at once.

I know many people have expressed they miss “training”. I get that. Luckily for me I have mat’s and the ability to train a few days a week at home. So I’m not missing training. In fact I feel like I’m progressing technically. I’m studying video, I’m shooting more, I’m lifting regularly and without the same volume of jiu jitsu coupled with actually sleeping 8 hours a night I’m actually getting measurably stronger.  I’m writing more, practicing making videos to work on my presentation skills. I’m fine on “training”.

But I miss you all.

Yeah, all of it. The people that frustrate me. The ones that go super saiyan during the warm up round. The people I don’t like. The guy trying to teach a move he doesn’t understand. The new guy that doesn’t listen. All of it.  That environment, that space, the frenzy, chaos, and camaraderie.

One of the greatest skills I’ve learning is “acting as if”. When I went through Injury Recovery  I had to act as if one day I would recover.  When things look dire, and I don’t want to quit I act as if. I take the actions I need to take right now as if they will pay off in the future.  When I’m stuck in bottom side control I don’t throw my arm out hoping for a quick end!  I’ve learned on those mats how to keep fighting, how to keep trying, how to focus on what I can do, and attempt to do it as best I can.  Those lessons serve us well here and now.

One day this will lift up off us. We will be back on that mat. Those chomping at the bit to get back at it, those cautiously optimistic, and those taking the most precautions will come back together.   And whether I know you or not, I owe you a round.

Shawn Lupka



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