Well, I have been pretty quiet for a few weeks due to the workload I have been carrying and I probably owe you all an update. As I left you all last, I was setting off from Rio De Janeiro to get back to the US.A. before setting off for yet another year of travelling and training – this time in Southeast Asia and throughout the E.U.. Well…though it would seem like easy sailing after Rio, it was far from it!
We (my wife / forever travelling companion and I) rolled into the U.S. after about 28 hours of travel at around 3:00 pm in Nashville,TN. My Mom happened to be visiting friends in Nashville so she picked us up at the airport and drove us straight to Huntsville, AL where we visited with my brother and his fiancee for a full day and 1/2. After that we drove up to Knoxville, TN where we locked in with my wife’s in-laws for a week or so before my big “triumphant return” to the Ohio State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships!
I trained with Samuel Braga at Gracie Barra, Knoxville for about two weeks until it was time to move on to Columbus, OH for the Big State Championship. As usual these guys have been kicking my butt for two weeks prior to the tourney I was bound for in Cleveland, OH. The Samuel Braga style of BJJ is SO different than what I am used to that his students routinely baffle me when rolling. Besides being well-conditioned and strong competitors, these guys just play a game that I haven’t figured out as of yet. It can be really frustrating, but also, after I have relaxed and forgiven myself for looking like a fool on the mat, it can also get me totally psyched to get back there and ask a lot more questions and learn a new style!! Anyway….
I got up early the morning before the tournament and went out to the Knoxville airport to pick up my rental car for the 8 hour drive up to Cleveland. Everything was going well until I decided that I would hit up some friends in Columbus and see if I could crash at their place until the morning when I would resume my journey up to Cleveland for the big tourney. They were home and had a space available so I headed their way.
As luck would have it, about 1 mile from their place I hit a piece of debris in the road (a large piece of berm that had been knocked loose from the side of the road) and blew out the driver front tire!
After a short amount of time checking out the tire and digging out the spare I gave it a quick change and was back on the road to my overnight stay. It was a short drive and I ended up have a nice evening visiting with friends. But…my thoughts were on how to make this tournament in the morning. I still had about 160 miles to go and had a spare donut limited to 50 mph (about 80 kmh).
I looked up the tire places nearby but they were already closed for the evening. I considered driving the distance on the donut but quickly decided that it would be completely stupid to try to risk that. In the end I had to face the cold reality that I was caught and that the road had me dead to rights. I had to tap on this one and hope for a better go at it next time!
The next morning I replaced the tire and spent what was left of the day visiting with friends. In the end, I reckoned that I was out an extra $30.00 since the money I spent on the tire was offset by the tournament price plus the gas I would have burned getting there. Also, I found out later that my team (SAS Team, Ohio) took first in the team No-gi category so it wasn’t a total loss.
As soon as I got back to Knoxville, TN I had to get ready for a quick trip out to Cozumel, MX…but that is another story!
Until next time…OSS!