By Elisabeth Clay
Heading into ADCC trials for the second time, what’s going through my head? Well, to start off, I’ve been waiting almost two years to re-qualify for ADCC. I am definitely very nervous going into this, but that’s to be expected. I know I am going to be very small in my division, since this year I decided to move up to the over 60 kg division.
A New Weight Class
ADCC women’s division only has two weight classes, under 60 kg (132lbs) and over, which makes things hard. I competed in the under 60kg last time, but since you have to make weight three days in a row for ADCC, that makes it very hard. I have found that being calorie-deficient for so long leaves me very prone to injury since I have to lose a lot of muscle mass.
Why I’m Nervous
First off, I am nervous because its ADCC trials. Secondly, I am nervous because I know I’m going to be smaller than most, if not all, of my competition. Finally, I am nervous about competing, as always. No matter how many times I step on that mat to compete, I still get nervous. Maybe some people don’t, but I think it’s a healthy part of competition. Even the best athlete can have a bad day on the same day that the “less than the best” can have a great day.
Aside from the nerves, and despite having dislocated my shoulder and separated the AC joint less than three weeks ago, I feel great! I have been doing micro current, ultrasound and rehab on it multiple times a day and yes, I’m still training on it. I think the most important thing for me to do is go in with the exact same mindset as my first ADCC trials: be aggressive and always hunting that sub, never giving an inch, and if they give me a centimeter, take a freaking mile. I also have to not care about what others are thinking, who does and doesn’t know who I am, and what others expect and want to see me succeed or fail at. I am not one who generally cares what others think, but it’s always easier to be the one no one knows or expects anything from. It leaves me free to succeed or fail without anyone watching.
The other key factor will be listening to and for Prof. Jordan. Sometimes there is so much noise and I have to focus to hear the words that are just for me. Luckily, we have a great coaching connection and I can usually hear him above all the other commotion. I am always grateful to have him in my corner. I know he can be my eyes and see what I don’t, and yet he knows what I am telling him without words.
Putting on a Show
I love to go out there, do my thing and give the fans a show. One of the things that is so much fun is when other athletes or fans come up and love the show. It seems even when I haven’t won, I am able to at least make it exciting. Make no mistake, I am out there to win, but putting on a show is also part of it. One important thing to me is that you all know I strive to be a good sport whether I win or lose. I hope to make this time nothing less.
Finally, I am super excited for selfish reasons. I love competing and the rush that comes with it. Nothing excites me more than getting in my zone and stepping on the mat ready to go. The ADCC ruleset is absolutely my favorite. I get to let my aggressive and submission hunting nature take over. God willing, and provided my body stays together and my head remains in the right place, I will be moving on to ADCC. ADCC is the pinnacle of competition to me. You are not separated by belts or crazy rules. You either have it or you don’t. You have the opportunity to win by submission, without penalty, before it moves to points to guarantee a win. I am grateful to all of you who follow me, and for the support. I am grateful to have some fantastic sponsors: Zebra Athletics, Albino & Preto, Leao Optics, Sacred Symbols Tatau, and ArmLock Brand. Hopefully, I will once again win this thing and give you all a show. Thank you for a great two years.
Become your lion/lioness.