The girl who kicked the hornets’ nest

That would be me.

The list of registered competitors for the Revolution was posted today.

I’m on it. In the space for "academy" is listed two schools.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not *so* naive that I didn’t realize that this was a politically ticklish situation. A little raised eyebows, a little muttering behind the scenes could possibly occur, I thought. But probably not. Because

1)It’s not like I’m Kyra Gracie or anything. I am a low-level blue belt who is firmly in the "slow learner" category. I am *not* competitive at the blue belt level right now and we all know it- me included. It’s not like I have any chance of WINNING anything. I honestly didn’t expect anybody to notice or care what was on my registration.

2)Rodrigo and Carlos both KNEW that I am crosstraining at Cindy’s. We never had any direct conversations about it, but they knew… and they knew that *I* knew that they knew. Everybody KNEW, okay? There were no surprises here. They also both knew that I was planning to do the Revolution.

So I was quite taken aback when I walked into GB Bellevue tonight and before I could even take my coat off, Prof. Carlos was pointing me to a chair, kicking everyone else out of the lobby, and having Pat substitute for him to start teaching tonight’s class so that he could have a Long Serious Talk with me (such as it is when I have no Portuguese and he has little English and we can each barely understand half of what the other person is saying even on superficial topics) to impress upon me just how profoundly I have F’ed up.

Okay, so I am duly impressed. There are some radical differences of cultural perspective going on here. I now understand that this was viewed by Carlos and Rodrigo as a grave insult and abhorrant betrayal. I feel terrible about that. I certainly had no inkling that this was such a Big Fat Hairy Deal. I get it. I don’t necessarily think it’s right or think it’s fair, but I get their perspective, and I regret having caused this.

Having fully grokked the fact that Houston, We Have a Serious Problem, I then wanted to move on to 1)apology and 2)damage control.

I apologized several times, and I hope that at least some of it got through the language barrier.

I will have to go crawl before Rodrigo as well. And probably in person. Writing an e-mail is tempting, and I can write a very abjectly apologetic masterpiece of an e-mail…. but I don’t think that is going to cut it. Gawds, this is going to be awful. I almost certainly *will* cry in front of Rodrigo. s***.

I am going to have to drop out of this competition. I’m not going to do it tonight, because I’m aware that I’m upset and not "clear" right now, and I have till Wednesday midnight to make changes on the registration form. Don’t know if I’ll be able to get my fee back, but that’s the least of my worries right now.

I asked both Carlos and Pat point-blank (more than once) if my dropping out of this tournament would fix this issue. I didn’t really get a straight answer back. The message I seemed to be gleaning from Pat was that the proper thing to do would be to stay in the tournament and drop Cindy’s school off my registration. I told him straight up that that option is off the table- I am not going to do that to Cindy. I’ll drop out of the tournament- it is really not that big of a deal to me.

I also asked them both if I am being forced to pick one school and quit the other. Again, answers that were frustratingly vague. I seemed to be getting from Carlos that whatever I was doing for my own personal development was fine with him, but it was a problem with competitions and with belt promotions. Okay, I can work with that. Competitions are not a big deal to me. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m fine with never doing a competition in my entire life. And as far as promotions, I don’t give a flying fig about that either (which is a good thing, because I’ll probably never see another one after THIS, ha ha).

What I really value is to not lose any of the great teachers I am fortunate enough to have…. to be able to keep training with all of them. But Carlos seemed to be making it fairly clear that if I was only 50% committed to GB, he was only going to be 50% committed to teaching me. I am very sensitive to rejection… I don’t know if I can emotionally deal with being frozen out like that, if that’s really the way it would be. And is that the way it would be with Rodrigo, too? If so, then I guess they are making the decision for me. If I’m acutely uncomfortable at GB, I’m not going to be able to train there. That *is*, in a way, forcing me to pick one school and quit the other. And if I’m forced, I will pick the teacher who is not forcing me. I have already been through all these mental gyrations with the two kung fu factions.

Anyway, after I talked with Carlos (or rather, after he did a lot of talking and I did a lot of listening in horror and dismay, and trying to not cry in front of him), then Carlos went in to take over the class and sent Pat out to talk to me some more. They both finished with telling me to go on the mat and train, and we’d talk about this more later. I left. Which was undoubtedly an insult as well, but I was way too upset to train and needed to think about what the hell I am going to do.

I’m not sorry that I decided to train at both schools. Cindy leaving GB was a bad situation for everyone, and left me with a set of bad options to choose from. I didn’t want to lose Cindy, I didn’t want to lose Rodrigo or the good training partners at GB, and once I got to know Carlos, I didn’t want to lose him either. I didn’t want to pay tuition at two schools. I picked the seemingly least crappy of a spread of universally crappy options. Cut me some slack, okay?

I’m not sorry that I put both schools on my registration. I am training at two schools. To leave one of them off would have been a much bigger insult than to duel-rep. Again, both Prof’s KNEW I was cross-training. Did they really think I was going to just put GB and completely disrespect Cindy?

What I am sorry about is that I have obviously hurt and insulted Rodrigo and Carlos, which I would never want to deliberately do. If I *could* go back and change anything, I would have a personal conversation with each of them about this before I registered. I honestly thought we had a tacit understanding of what was happening here, and nobody seemed upset, so I thought we were all cool.

All I want to do is train, and I try so hard to stay out of all gossip and politics. I don’t know why I get caught up in these goddamn soap operas.

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