By Elisabeth Clay
My short term goals are forever growing and changing, because if they aren’t, then I’m not growing and progressing. At least, that is how I look at it.
For now, my big “close” goal is to win ADCC trials 2019 and then ADCC 2019. It would be a huge deal for me to just compete at it. While winning at 19 is not as cool of a goal as it was at 17, it’ll do… haha. Obviously, I have other tournaments before this, but this is definitely the one I really have my eye on.
Looking Forward to This Year
In 2019, I’m also trying to do more international tournaments such as Europeans and maybe Brazilian Nationals, but we’ll see. Money willing and all other things in my schedule cooperating, I will get to do it. In addition, submission tournaments, where the money is, is another facet in my jiu jitsu developmental goals. I want to make a living competing so I have to compete and win at submission tournaments. Onnit is a favorite of mine to compete at. Hopefully, this year will include EBI, Kasai and other paying competitions. ADCC and some of the sub only rule sets are my very favorite to compete under.
Don’t Just Train to Win
I train to not just win, but to keep a distance between myself and my competition; to be the very best I can be at that moment. Obviously, this is not always possible, but it is always the goal. My goal is always to beat myself, not my competition. To me, to train JUST to win is lazy. My aim day in and day out is to best myself in gi and nogi, and in all rulesets. To be the strongest and healthiest I can be, at any given time and overall. At some point I would love to add in a jits significant other to make it as a couple, or family, who pursues the same goal, and to travel and compete together. Who knows when/if that’ll happen, for now I’m just going with the flow.
I am super excited about my younger brother, David joining me at the big competitions such as Pans and Worlds. One more year and he will be hitting the same big ones. I love training with him and competing with him will be great.
Another aspect of my jiu jitsu career I will begin to spend more energy on is teaching seminars. Teaching seminars is even more fun than teaching classes, at least to me, because it seems when people pay to have you teach them, they come ready to learn. That is extremely exciting and invigorating to be a part of someone’s learning process. Teaching privates is also a lot of fun.
I look forward to every competition and to each day grinding. It makes me feel alive to train every day like tomorrow is my most difficult competition. The more grueling and challenging training is, the better I feel. I get many other jits people tell me I train to hard or too much (unless it’s Jordan, who says I don’t do enough), but I love it. That training is part of me, my life, and my balance.
So Really, What Are My Goals?
To be the very best me, to challenge myself every single day, and to hold myself to my own standard. I don’t want to be the next anyone. It is funny, even weird to me, to hear people who want to be the next (name your celebrity). I like me. I just want to be better and better. I want to be the best Elisabeth Clay, someone who is true to herself and to her sport and to those around her. This is always a struggle, one that on most days I never come close to accomplishing, but I would never trade me or my challenges for anyone else’s or their life. I really do not know what striving to be the best me means or will mean (beyond the tournaments mentioned above). I also do not know what the next year or five years will be or bring.
I would, and will work, to be a black belt world champion in gi, nogi, and in all rulesets. But if I train every day the hardest and best I can, then that is enough. I am enough. I look forward to seeing y’all on the mats and in the arena. May we all have a year blessed with safety and prosperity in all facets of our lives, on and off the mats (the Zebra Mats)!
Become your lion or lioness!
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