We’re going to run it backwards this episode, starting with the fight.
Barb vs Gillian was great. Gillian aaaaaalmost had that armbar- if it weren’t for being right next to the cage, Barb might have been in some trouble. But, they WERE next to the cage, and Barb was able to not get swept and stay on top. Barb kept an insane pace the entire fight and landed great ground and pound from Gillian’s guard. Barb also got to show off her wrestling, both offensively and defensively. And Gillian, for her part, absolutely brought it to a long time veteran of the sport. All in all it was an amazing fight and it had my stomach in knots watching it live, and again watching it on TV.
Me, watching the fight
Gillian is REALLY tough. Her jiu jitsu is awesome. She’s a shy, quiet, 22 year old who I believe will be the champion someday. Keep your eyes on her.
As for Barb, she’s an amazing fighter. I said in the last episode, and still believe, Barb is the woman to beat. She’s extremely hard to take down, very explosive and strong, a good wrestler, good boxer, and has plenty of experience. She’s a nightmare matchup for pretty much anyone.
Barb and I respected and liked each other, but the whole deal with Eddie made for some awkwardness between us. You guys can tell from the episode, Barb loved Eddie and Eddie loved Barb. I did not love Eddie, and I wasn’t quiet about it. I couldn’t understand why she liked him and she didn’t understand why I didn’t.
(I also want to point out here that in almost all our home videos, we focus on our dogs more than anything else. I cried when Gillian cried saying goodbye to her dog, and I bawled when Barb talked about Louie. Forget the husbands, forget the gym, show me the dogs, people).
All of America watching dogs on TV
This episode shows me saying, “We need to ask for what we need to perform at our best”. I was referring to rest days here. I was tired and worn out, not just from my fight, but from the diet, the weight cut, sleepless nights, training, and the stress of TUF. I really wanted a day to stay home, let my body rest, get my head together, and sleep. I know this is a shock to a lot of people, but rest days are important. It wasn’t just the stress of TUF-I take rest days when I am at home, too. All fighters do.
And, I wasn’t the only tired one. At this point, on our team of eight girls we had:
3 fighters with injuries preventing them from training hard, if at all
1 fighter with a prelim fight in just a few days
2 fighters with fights coming up in the quarterfinals
2 fighters with no injuries and no fight coming up.
I would talk to the other girls on the team and they would tell me they were tired, or they wanted to rest before their fights, or they want to rest their injury, or whatever it was. I was like, “Yeah, I’m tired too, let’s tell Eddie we need a rest day.” And the other girls would be like, “Okay, that sounds good, we should,” but when we would get to the gym, Eddie would say, “Alright ladies, warm up!” and everyone would get on the mat and start jogging.
Me, watching everyone warm up
I couldn’t understand why no one would ask Eddie for what they wanted or felt they needed. I mean, even for all my gripes with the guy, he’s not a damned mind reader. How the fuck would he know we wanted a rest day if no one asked?
One day we went to the gym, and one of the women literally tried to hide when we got there. She walked to the back of the gym, hoping to get away with not doing much for the training session. Eddie saw her, and, not knowing she wanted to rest, sent a coach over to hold mitts for her. Instead of saying she wanted a rest, she just started hitting mitts with the trainer. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t just speak up for herself, but I figured I’m not these girls’ mom anyway, and it’s not really my job to speak up for all of them (for the record, I did ask for a rest day, for all of us. Eddie took us to the PI to use the recovery equipment, but he had us do a grappling workout first. I wasn’t sure if it was a misunderstanding or what, but I didn’t count it as a rest day).
It wasn’t until I saw last week’s episode, when I saw Eddie had given them a speech about “if you’re not here you’re not built for this,” that I understood.
Of course they’re not going to ask for a rest day after a speech like that. No one wanted to be on the receiving end of one of those. But at the time, I didn’t know he had said that, so to me it looked like the girls on team Alvarez just wouldn’t open their mouths and ask for what they needed, which was driving me absolutely nuts.
JUST SAY YOU WANT A REST
There were two exceptions: Barb and Sijara. They didn’t give a fuck about rest days.
Sijara did her own thing no matter what was going on. She would do the workouts but never killed herself doing them, so she was down for anything. I am pretty sure Sijara could have been on either team, no team, could have had an inflatable giraffe for a coach, on a team by herself or with thousands of people- and she would have been just fine. NOTHING bothered her. Well, actually one thing kinda really did, but you’re just going to have to wait and see what that thing was in a few more episodes.
The other exception was Barb. Barb goes 100 miles an hour at all times, and she likes it that way. She spars hard, trains hard, drills hard, and goes live a lot. It’s just the way she came up in the sport. She didn’t want to take rest days, like, ever. In fact, I don’t think she took a rest day for 32 days or something like that (I actually counted it up one day, near the end of the season, and asked her about it, to which she just kind of shrugged and said, “Yeah, I did feel little tired today”). It didn’t bother her at all. It is ironic that in this episode, she talked about going into fights “banged up” from not resting enough, but you wouldn’t have known it on the show. She wasn’t injured and loves to train hard.
Getting “banged up” is one thing I wanted to avoid the most on TUF. It’s much easier to get injured when you’re exhausted. We already had three girls on the team with injuries, and I didn’t want to join them. Injuries can keep you out of training for days or weeks on end, and lingering injuries can bother you through future camps. And, if you get hurt and can’t train on TUF, you might die of boredom, or worse, not be ready to take someone’s spot if they drop out of the competition for some reason (like an injury). Needless to say, rest days once in a while were/are important to me.
Fittingly, this episode shows Melinda, who injured herself in training. Melinda couldn’t do much before her fight, except ride the stationary bike and hit boxing mitts. Now listen, this is another reality of TUF. I felt for Melinda, I liked Melinda, I wanted Melinda to do well-but a big part of me was hoping I could take her spot in the tournament if she was too injured to compete.
Me watching EVERYONE in the house
I know it sounds shitty, and it felt shitty, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted back in the tournament SO bad! And that’s the reality of TUF. No one is REALLY your friend. Even though Melinda was a team mate, room mate, and even my bunk mate-I would have happily taken her spot in the tournament given the chance.
I also want to add here, as a side note, I wasn’t super jacked up to see myself on TV bitching about Eddie again this episode. I didn’t like the guy as a coach much, and wasn’t happy with how little rest we got, or how many assistant coaches were being cycled through, but I don’t like that EVERY episode is me complaining, either. It’s not what I intended or realized I was doing. Please keep in mind that the show IS edited, I have no control over what is shown when, they have storylines to keep up, and we were ALL in a stressful situation. Thanks for understanding that. I’m definitely not perfect, but I wanted more than anything to tell the truth about how I felt and what was going on on the show. Also, I was exhausted. It is what it was, I suppose.
I think that covers it for this week’s episode, people. Thanks for reading! See you next week!