So... At least years on the mat did something. My brain needs some reminders, but my body knows exactly what to do. I rolled with a more advanced blue belt, and started feeling out what I remember and what I needed reminders about. My instincts about defense and positioning are working well. My memory of submissions needs a bit of study. It was a lot of fun to play around and see what happens. My uki was really great about pausing at points to talk about options and where to go from here. That's what is usually great about bjjyms -- the people. I think that the saying, 'a rising tide lifts all ships' applies here. when we teach each other, we refine our own technique and build better training partners.
I worked until I was so tired that I had no more will power to fight. Some of that is cardio to work on, and some of that is mental fortitude to work on. In climbing, the saying is 'climb until you fall.' For me, with both bjj and climbing, I think it is climb or fight until I panic, and work through it. That's a win in my book. I haven't panicked on the mat in a long time, but i'm sure it will happen again soon, and it will be a growth experience. Part of these challenge sports for me, are playing with my own edges of comfort and fear. It's scary that I could just give up, but I guess I can pay attention to when I give up, and how much further I can push myself next time.
Each day brings a new experience, depending on the emotional and physical strength I bring onto the mat (or other activity) that day, and so I find comfort in doing the best I can on that day, in that moment.