Training continues to be great. There was a sudden blizzard on Saturday so I wasn't sure if anyone would even be there and almost didn't go. I'm glad I did though, because I learned a lot of good things to do when trying to stave off attacks from open guard. I'm especially fond of the one where someone's trying to underhook you, you shrimp, kick the leg up, around and back in, and they have to start again. Later on, I kept doing that to Big Boy and Homeboy, and they were getting very frustrated. I've also finally gotten to the point where I'm passing guard more consistently and slightly less flaily-like, so Christian gave me props for that, which made me happy.
During open mat, I got a good ass whooping from Thumper, who I sorely underestimated because he's not as bulky as most of the other guys. But he kept getting side control and mount, and tapping me out time after time. I tried an armbar (hadn't officially learned it yet, was just imitating Youtube) and ended up getting the leg movements reversed. He used the opportunity to armbar me back, but gave me points for trying. I did manage to tap him once though, with a North South Choke, which was awesome. Dom was thrilled when I told him about that.
Tonight...well, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. Christian was off so Isley led a takedowns class and I paired up with Spaceman. I wasn't entirely successful with the rolling neck crank but we went slowly for safety reasons and I almost got it after hurting him once or twice (oops). Ironically, one thing I need to work on is not worrying about hurting people so much. I know it's kind of ridiculous that I'm the smaller person working with bigger guys and yet I catch myself thinking omg I don't want to break them!! especially since they spend most of their time crushing me. But I get concerned that I'll be too aggressive (at least when drilling, I don't care as much when I roll), do something wrong and hurt someone as a result of extreme incompetence. All I'm saying is, it's a damn good thing that everyone there seems to protect their junk with titanium cups...
With Christian out, the gi class turned into open mat and I rolled with Isley for a while. He took it easy and basically let me play, not trying too hard but enough to make it difficult for a newbie. He set me up a bunch of times to use the techniques we've been working on in the last few classes and I did some of them decently, although a few times I flat out gave him the submission. After that (I was already damn tired at this point), brown belt Carlo set a timer and told people to pair up for 30-minute rolls. I was like hah, glad I'm not in that class until he decided that gi or no gi, I was his first partner. Ah shit.
I was definitely on the verge of throwing up after that round. I've never been so tired, and he was barely even trying. It was essentially cat and mouse, and every time we finished, he'd swivel to his knees and say "again." I spent half the time feeling like a total spazz. I miserably failed my attempted americana but on the upside, I finally learned how to do a proper armbar from closed guard (he had me practice it a bunch of times from both sides and then set me up to try it while rolling) and made improvements to some other techniques, so it was worth the subsequent nausea.
When the timer went off, I collapsed into a chair and sat there pitifully with a 2-day-old water bottle pressed against my forehead like a cold compress. Liz started laughing at me because the damn bottle had been sitting in my bag at the gym for a while and was, at best, lukewarm. She pushed me to roll with her and Yanitza but I was ready to pass out and it took a long while of sitting around and talking with them and LJack before I felt somewhat recovered. Later, I did manage to roll with them briefly but being at the end of my tether, I couldn't put up half the fight I'd done earlier with other opponents, so around 10 pm I finally gave up and called it a night. And, in spite of the screaming muscles and brand new leopard-like bruise patterns, it was a great night.