My last week in Rio was a complete blur to me. Unfortunately, the combination of coming off of illness & preparing for my unexpected return home had left me sleepless for the majority of my final week in Brazil. All of this was going on as I attempted to prepare for the Brazilian Nationals No Gi.
This post was written by Connection Rio sponsored athlete Davey Morehead, a purple belt from Checkmat USA. He blogs every week about training BJJ in Rio. Check out his website www.DaveyMorehead.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The days droned by, still plagued by sleeplessness I knew that I still needed to try to make this week productive. (Its my last week in Rio for crying out loud!)
Somehow, one morning I managed to make it out to Terere’s gym with a couple of my buddies from the house. We took the > 1 hour bus ride there. I’ll tell you one thing, if you ever come to Brazil; be warned, the bus rides can be a bit…exciting..(to say the least). Feeling sick from no sleep and the crazy bus ride there, I staggered off of the bus, and (after a short rest to allow me to get my stomach back) we walked the mile or so to Terere’s gym.
Immediately after arriving there, to my disappointment we discovered that Terere would not be there that day. Fortunately the class was run by a very competent brown belt, and we had a few other very high level purple belts to train with. Class started with a tough warm-up. I zombied my way through it. And after learning a couple of cool sweeps from spider guard, we proceeded to roll a few hard 7 minute rounds. After that, satisfied that I didn’t pass out on the mats or on the bus ride home, I managed catch up on an enormous amount of sleep.Saturday comes, and I find myself at the Tijuca Tennis Club (A very famous venue in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world) competing at the Brazilian Nationals NO GI. I was very excited for this tournament, and despite illness and whatnot keeping me from preparing as well as I would have liked, I was feeling confident.
The crowd was once again electric for this major tournament. We even spotted American Black Belt AJ Agazam, one of my buddies stopped and posed for a picture with him. This tournament was a really tough one for me, and after a few very tough matches I found myself with a Silver Medal in my division. Unfortunately I lost my first match in the open class by an Advantage point. All together though I counted this as a very wonderful experience.
The following two days went by without much going on, I felt kind of stuck in limbo seeing as how I was leaving on Monday. I felt a whole slew of emotions from sadness to leave, to anxiety of coming home to real life, to happiness to see my wife. It was a very tough couple of days for me for sure.
Fast forward a week and I can hardly believe I’ve been home for only a week! Once you come back to real life, man does it smack you in the face! Once you leave the carefree environment that Brazil felt like and you surface in reality, you really have to hit the ground running. It turns out that life at home didn’t stop and
wait for you. Along with coming home to the ones you love, also waiting at the airport to meet you are all of your troubles, bills, stressors, etc.
There is definitely a big emotional dump that comes from switching environments so radically. I imagine that most that return home from such an incredible journey go through something similar. Definitely something I will try to mentally prepare myself for the next time I return to Brazil.
Altogether I’m very happy to be home with my wonderful wife who was so supportive of me during this wonderful experience that I was able to enjoy. I’d like to thank Connection Rio for the opportunity to come out and stay in your wonderful house in beautiful Rio! I’d also like to thank all of my housemates there at the Connection Rio house for being just great in general. We all had some great talks, great moments together. I hope to see you all again in the future!—