Category Archives: motivation

Motivated!

A week ago on a rainy day, I sprained my ankle on my way to work. I should have gone home because I almost broke my other foot that same day. X-rays and CT scans later, I have a few small longitudinal lesions on my tendons which is disabling my ability to bend my toes. I decided to tough it out last Friday and head with R to the gym to start training again.

I think I lasted all of 10 minutes into the warm up when I jammed my toes horribly and had to get a bag of ice to calm down the re-aggravated injury. Needless to say, I didn’t start training that day. I stayed to watch the class but it made me even more frustrated knowing that it’s difficult for me to learn without actually putting my body through the paces. Class was attacking from the turtle position and the resulting clock choke. R promised to drill this with me at home when the foot starts to behave itself.

Saturday was a local BJJ tournament hosted by our gym. R spent the day refereeing on one of the mats and I brought the pup along to watch the competitions. It was exciting to see old friends and teammates compete and do extremely well on the mats! It just made me realize how much I seem to have fallen behind in my own training.

So.

I have just under one month to get back into it and hopefully register for my very first tournament! I would have been officially training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for eight months at that point and want to get used to that ‘OhmygodI’msonervousIneedtothrowup’ feeling. I’m told you don’t really get used to it per-say. It’s more that your body is accustomed to the adrenaline and doesn’t think it’s nausea. Superb.

I’m on a goal to drop weight and train hard for the next 5 weeks.

Here we go, wish me luck!


Training for Longevity

R trains at a different gym than I do, and I have much respect for his head instructor. I was listening to the Fightworks Podcast (It’s free! Go download it!) the other day on an interview with him and he was talking about ‘training for longevity.’

I knew it wasn’t the first time I had heard that expression. When a visiting black belt came to give a seminar at our school a few weeks back. I know that I plan on training for a long time and being riddled with little injuries here and there makes me frustrated. I’m sitting here blogging with a tweaked knee and sore ribs.

Even before I began to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I was a bit of a klutz. Now, little things on the mat seem to get the better of me. For example, I was rolling with T in class earlier this week when he did a simple sweep and I landed at an awkward angle on my right knee. I felt a jarring pain instantly and grimaced with disappointment. I was looking forward to staying after class for open mat and working on the test requirements, and I knew this would force me to sit out for the rest of the day. I left right after class to avoid being asked to roll and explain my cause.

However, I’m sitting here blogging after a second class earlier today where I wore my knee brace and grumbled under my breath as settling into mount brought discomfort to my knees. Of course, we’re working on mount escapes this week.

I can’t help but think that in the long run, I won’t be worried about all these little tweaks as they tend to be inevitable in a sport that’s so physical. Keeping my eye on training for the long-term, I’m learning to sit out when it’s appropriate and take a break when my body needs it. It also means that my training and progress might be a little slower than I want  since I tend to go full tilt when I commit to learning something new. If I want to avoid more injuries, it means being more deliberate with my movements and more aware of my body. Especially when I’m injured.


A weekly update!

INSANITY!

3 weeks until I leave for NYC, and with 5 days lost in Chicago for a work-related trip, time is flying by! I’ve only made 2-3 classes/week these past few weeks. Because I’ll be away for almost 2 weeks from May – June, I’ve picked up lots of overtime at work which subsequently leaves less time to train. :( On the other hand, R has concocted some stupidly crazy cardio workouts to push me through. I don’t usually quote him, but here’s his idea of a ‘fun’ workout.

A deck of 52 cards… the goal is to work up to the point where we can complete the deck of cards at the end of the workout as the final cardio “push”. For example: After a good hour of technique, dri…lling, sprints etc. we would break out the deck of cards. Hearts would be burpees, diamonds would be burpees, clubs would be crunches, spades would be triangles. Final goal to work up to – the entire deck completed without rest between sets.Shuffle the deck thoroughly – if you get an ace you would do 11 of that exercise, J/K/Q you would do 10 and then just follow the numbers from 10 – 2.For example; if the following 4 cards came up: Ace of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds, 3 of clubs, King of spades – that would be 21 burpees, 3 triangles and 10 crunches.

If we were to make it through the whole deck of cards that would be a total of 190 burpees, 95 triangles and 95 crunches – all completed without rest.

This is a slightly modified version of a routine I stole from an old boxing coach. Mine is better (or more evil) depending on your point of view.

I don’t think we’d make it through the whole deck on the first go of course, but it would be a cool thing to work towards. I figure if we’re able to sail through that at the end of the main part of the workout we’re in pretty good shape.

Did I mention I love burpees?…

Our big grapple party is this weekend as well! I’m spending the day cleaning the loft and giving the mats a good cleaning before our friends come over! It’s looking like it’ll be a great mix of friends from both gyms!

My new Fenom Gi also arrived a few days ago! I’ve already washed and sent the Kimono through the dryer once to shrink it slightly. The Fenom A1 gi is a little larger than my Red Star A1, but a more detailed review will be coming once I’ve run it through a few classes! On my first attempt at trying it on, it’s incredibly soft weave was definitely noticeable!


A Black Belt is…

A white belt that never gives up.

The first time I saw this quote scribbled on a whiteboard in R’s gym, I smiled to myself not knowing the implications this quote truly has.

I finally finished my last night shift this week and after a quick power nap, I grumbled as I reached over and tried to hit the snooze button on my phone. The pup was already trying to crawl into bed with me so I knew it was time to get up.

I spent about 15 minutes rolling around in bed contemplating whether I needed more sleep or if I should pack my bag and head off to the gym to train. It’s times like these that I have to overcome that self-doubt that I can ‘always train later’, or even ‘I’ll make up for it tomorrow.’ Instead of giving myself excuses I’ve found it’s best just to pre-pack my bag and don’t think about ‘why I should go’, but rather, ‘what am I going to learn today? What do I want to work on?’ Overcoming some of the struggles I’ve always had with confidence, dedication, emotional stability and mental focus are just a few of the things that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu help me to improve on.  The idea of never giving up is something I struggle with. In many aspects of my hobbies, I’ve always excelled in the initial excitement and passion. It’s the diligence that I lack. The very idea of not giving up scares me a little because I see the very few dedicated BJJ practitioners that move up in rank with each belt. The numbers thin out significantly for a variety of reasons. I don’t plan on being one of them.


Recovery phase complete!

I had to inadvertently take a recovery week as I was working insane hours last week at the hospital. I was away from the gym for an ENTIRE WEEK. It seems almost impossible to believe! Good thing R came over last week and trained a few hours with me. We mostly worked on technical points for my stripe test this weekend. Holy $hit.. that’s this weekend.

Considering I’ve never tested before, I’m a little (read: very) nervous about the whole event. Long blog post to come after the whole event perspires!

I have to say though, even with most of my injuries on their way to full recovery, I feel stronger, faster, and well rested. I tried to measure my resting heart rate last night and I’m around 55bpm again! Win! My heart is happier – I think.

I went to class last night and met up with N and we drilled attacks from guard and single leg takedowns. It was actually a great class to practice the cross collar choke and scissor sweep which are both on the stripe test this weekend.

Time to hit up the gym!


Another slow start

March has been a really slow start thus far. I had to miss out on training the whole week last week because I was working night shifts. There’s nothing that puts a damper on my mood than being sleep deprived, and being deprived of a sport I’m learning to love.

R made up for a lacklustre week in training by putting me through my paces twice last week. We trained on Thursday and threw another quick workout yesterday (Sunday). In addition, I also had the chance to roll with some friends at a big grappling event on Saturday night. So, I did get my grappling fix in this past weekend!

I had a bit of a discouraging morning on Sunday though. I came out of the shower and was slightly puzzled by the image in the mirror. I can’t say that I’m happy with the rate of improvement thus far. I haven’t lost any weight (still at a steady 130lbs) but the fat isn’t being converted to muscle fast enough. I think I over-estimate the amount of caloric intake my body really needs. I’ve been training consistently for about two months now and June is approaching faster than I anticipated. I’m not particularly vain about my looks, and I’m feeling pretty well-rested and healthy these days. It helps when I’m sleeping consistently of course, but the occasional naps are still a fairly regular occurrence. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit that I have to stop everything I’m doing and lie down for 15-30min in the mid afternoon every day just to keep at a healthy functioning level well into the evenings.

There’s stripe testing at the new gym at the end of the month, so that’s even more incentive to get going on the increased fitness regime. I’ve upped the cardio by putting in at least 1km swims in the mornings three times a week before BJJ class on days that there aren’t two classes back-to-back. I went this morning with a good friend who lives in my building and practically felt like dying after the first 700 meters. It’s really quite sad considering I swam competitively for 7 years of my life.  But nobody needs to know that… right? :P


The Endorphin Rush

The hardest thing about being consistent with training is overcoming some of the injuries/stiffness I’m experiencing.

I’ve been going to about 6-7 classes/week and I’m starting to feel the toll it’s taking on my body. My exercise tolerance has improved by leaps and bounds, and attending back-to-back classes are a breeze. I’m finding it easy to surpass, and keep up with the warmups and drills in class. I’m pushing my body at a rate with which I’m happy with.

However, the next morning after I feel like I’m as stiff as a board. I’m running for hot showers twice a day just to try to get my muscles to relax, and spend a good hour stretching after the hot shower. I’m not sure if my body just isn’t recouperating fast enough or if I’m just feeling the effects of my age. (Who am I kidding, I’m still in my mid-twenties!) I’ve been extremely grateful for friends who are willing to give me a brief back rub, or finding time to mooch off my parents’ massage therapist for an hour or two.

My strongest incentive to train, is the amazing feeling after I’ve pushed my body through class. R compares it to being as ‘high as a kite’ and he couldn’t be more concise. I can feel my heartbeat in my fingertips and I could just stand there and listen to it pound in my ears. It’s an amazing to relish in the feeling of being ‘human.’

I went to train with R at his gym, and I felt like running a marathon after Monday’s no-gi class. I think I was so excited and bubbly that I was talking a mile a minute the whole way to the pub. It didn’t matter than I crashed after my pint of ‘Omg I’m so HAPPY!’ beer with some friends.

I was going to train yesterday (Tuesday), but decided against it when I could consciously feel every muscle in my body throbbing with a dull ache. I still felt motivated, but think my addiction/desire to train needs to be tempered a bit. Does anyone have any suggestions? Home remedies? More rest?

I’ve been getting at least seven hours of sleep a night – thank god. I think I would collapse otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see how well I hold up once the work hours switch back to night shifts again.

I’m heading back for two more classes tonight. I can’t wait till I feel like flying afterwards… :)


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