Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fighting in the Steel City!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

I'm heading to my first Judo competition, the Pennsylvania Open in Pittsburgh. I received my USJA (United States Judo Association) membership last night and the quote above was on the back. I liked it, liked it a lot.

I don't have any huge expectations. I've competed before, I ran track, I threw shot put and discus in High School yet never before have I wanted to compete. I find myself waking up in the night these past few days nervous, excited and thinking about fighting. I should say playing, Judo is a sport, you play Judo but hell at the end of the day I fight. Play seems far too tame a word to describe several hundred pounds of muscle and sinew, two trained athletes trying their level best to slam their opponent to the mat with considerable force or barring that, a choke, or lock on the ground.

I don't expect to win, yet I expect to learn, to play, to have a hell of a time in the Steel City and hopefully get it all on video.

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