Thursday, December 9, 2010

making some progress... slowly

lasted almost twice as long last night, flexibility was a crapton improved. Stopped in precaution after a fella stretched me out a little too forcefully from back mount. Heard my back crack three or four times and asked him to please get off of me.

it's hilarious. you can tell someone you're injured, even wrap an appendage in tape, and instead it seems to draw some magnetic urge to attack. it's almost as though I should've said "hey I broke my nose last week" to safeguard my back.

but overall I am encouraged. if I continue to improve along these lines, my bjj will be back on course in a few weeks. I'm feeling a lot of fatigue today, but it's nothing major, nor outside the norm considering the inactivity. I'm just proceeding with extreme caution.

I do, however, anticipate my return to crossfit to be tougher. I imagine I'll have the same initial breaking in period to re-do. But who knows, maybe it won't be so bad. I will be very conservative with my lifting there for quite some time. Maybe perpetually.

Been reading a lot of Rippetoe's books during my off time, trying to better understand the lifts. I'm not sure whether to just avoid deadlifts altogether, or just become a form nazi using only the bar until I have the form just so ingrained that you could wake me out of a drunken blackout and I could fire off 100 perfect deadlifts on command.

knowing me, it'll be the latter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

guess I'll have to become a weekend warrior.

Drove by the gym after work saturday, but apparently missed everyone. I knew I was taking a chance as was: kids class ended at 4:00, and the snow was still coming down. Fortunately, Sunday brought in a few folks, and hopefully next saturday will be a different story.

it isn't instruction, but it is mat time. That will have to suffice for now. I'll have to make it work, and make it a part of my usual routine. And friends and family will have to accept this as just the way things are now.

Hoping some folks show for morning class today, but won't be terribly surprised if they do not. I may pack up some stand up gear just in case-- may as well at least get a few rounds in on a heavy bag, make the trip worthwhile.

more importantly, yesterday was just fun. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in our curriculum and what I need to work on and progress that I suck all of the fun out of it. My back is not yet fantastic, and I crapped out before a full hour of rolling, but it'll come back around.

And I've about come to accept that absolutely no one under purple belt has any power to alter the level of intensity with which they roll. It isn't a jerk issue, it's a can't help it issue. Maybe it's my call to ramp up my own intensity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

that's what I'm talking about

First day back went well, my back held up relatively well. It was mostly okay during training, but stiffened up a bit afterwards. Today is quite possibly my last chiro visit, so I'm presuming it's going to be time to start re-entering the fold of BJJ and crossfit.

I'm at serious odds at work: we're making slight changes to our work schedule and I'm not sure whether to take the same day off or not. To date, doing BJJ twice a day on Wednesdays has been less than ideal. The choice i'm dealing with is: stay the course and adapt, or change to Thursdays off and resume judo for a while. I'm hoping to add saturday to my list of days I train -- go in after work and see if anyone is around. If that doesn't work, I'll have to try going in Sundays for open mat.

What sucks is this is a decision I have to make today. I'm leaning towards leaving things the same and learning to suck it up and hit bjj twice a day that one day. Meanwhile, let crossfit do what it was already doing: forging a better physical foundation for my bjj.

sorry -- just woke up, so this will read scattered as I get my wits about me.

I would've liked to have made it to both classes yesterday, but felt it was asking a bit much out of a back and body that hadn't done much of anything for 3-4 weeks. I'd like to start back to crossfit as well this week, but everything is sort of in a state of "wait and see". I think I know when I'm ready for more punishment, and when I am not. I am trying to not be gun-shy on deadlifts, or anything, but also not be foolish.

anyway, it was a fun class in that it was just sort of "let's try these moves, analyze why it works, when it fails" and in my case "how to modify so that it works for short folks"

I try to not hate that process, having to modify like every damn move, but it makes sense. The folks I am working with are on average, at least a foot taller than me. the physics will be different. At least I'm starting to figure out what mods to make. I think it helps too that I definitely have to have my technique down for these things to work.

yeah, time for coffee. I'm a rambling mess.

Monday, November 29, 2010

hopefully exiting injured phase

I don't have a real specific story aside from this: I was trying to deadlift 235 a second time and something snapped in my back. That was like 3 weeks ago. Haven't done shit since then, except hunt last week. After the 1st week, I started going to the chiro again.

It still hurts a little, mostly when I've sat still too long. I'm hoping it fades soon, because I'm getting cagey to train again.

Sort of.

I still feel lost on the mats, and have felt this way for a few months now. It's immensely frustrating, especially when there's no apparent end in sight. No remedy pending. I'm hoping it's just another phase that I have to soldier through until it goes away, but I'm more of a planning type girl. Want to know where I"m going. How I'm getting there. How long it's gonna take.

And it's frustrating to love something this much and have it go through a suck phase. But there are times that I consider the entirety of my training to be a suck phase, so... I need rewiring.

Too much of my training has involved a slow concession of defeat. I enter each match with the mindset of "how long until I get caught?" instead of "how can I catch my opponent?" And that is a deep seated habit now, expecting to lose. While I'd love a quick fix to it, I know better.

Just like everything else, I'll have to bite, crawl, and scratch my way out of it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

resuming saddle position

returned to the mats last week. Reminded me of how people say the hardest part of going to a gym is sometimes just getting to the gym. Once my feet touched the blue mats, I really didn't think anymore about all of the various annoyances and frustrations that made the thought of putting on a gi just seem almost like an insult. A waste.

I've been the same rank now for 2 years. After returning to my original school, to its methodologies, I really expected to have made some sort of measurable progress. And I'm sure I have, but my belt knows no better. This paranoia always seems to kick up whenever my school does rank testing, as I see others progressing, earning stripes or belts and I think to myself, "They're getting better, I'm stuck where I'm at." Or worse, I start wondering when they'll surpass me.

This defeatist attitude is something that has long been present in my training. I don't know if it's a function of me sucking or a function of always training with bigger guys, or with guys who would sooner chop off their own balls than let some girl get a submission. But it's as much a habit of my training as defaulting to half guard.

The frustration is that I know I'm not stupid. I know that I can't not be improving. I just don't understand what is taking so damn long to stick. To work. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. And overanalyzing it just makes it all worse.

So effective today, I'm putting on blinders. I don't know if it's ADD or what but I get moves mixed up in my head when I look at too many at once. I'm picking something and sticking with it. Up first is guard passing. And I'm not moving on until it improves. Until something else looks like the biggest hole in my game.

Meanwhile, crossfit is going well. I actually got three double unders in a row, which is a huge gain for me. Running isn't as traumatic, although I doubt I'm getting any faster. At least I'm trying. It is pointing out other holes in my game. I can move heavy things all day. I don't quit. But speed, that's another issue. If slow and steady wins the race, then I'm fine, but these are timed workouts, so instead I get a real clear view of what limits me.

And it's to be expected. I'm very heavy. Dense. I'm not built for speed at this point. But all in due time.

More shake ups coming at work. Trying to remain calm and wait to see what this shift in the tide brings. I may have to work weekends, may get a better shift, may get a worse shift. At this point, I'm just hoping it's a change that means I can go back to evening classes. Because while I adore the folks in morning class, there are so few of them. And the instruction isn't as good, or frequent. Open mat has its place in training, but when it's more prevalent than actual instruction, I get annoyed.

We shall see.

Monday, September 6, 2010


taking at least today off from bjj. might be all week. might be longer. might be shorter. It's not seeming fun right now. I'm annoyed with how things have been going, and I just need to pout about it a while and come up with another plan.

I actually already have another plan, but today I just want to veg. And drink coffee slowly. And probably play metroid. And I need to get more stuff cleared out of here to goodwill/trash for a pending move.

more later. I needs that coffee nowish.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

probably not "easing back into it" per Rx

Started Crossfit this past Sunday. Went again Tuesday. Today is Thursday, and I am forcing myself to rest. This takes more effort on my part than just working out.

I really, really like the intensity of the workouts. It's an added bonus that I get to usually train with friends from my bjj school. The scheduling is a little tricky, thanks to my job, and that will force some lifestyle changes that I probably should have made ages ago anyway.

If I'm going to have to get up early for crossfit, I'll have to get to bed sooner. Which allots less time for dinner, which I really shouldn't be having at 1130 pm anyways. I may try a test run this evening -- just get home from work, down a casein shake, read a bit maybe... do whatever I can to be asleep before 11.

It's been an okay bjj week so far. I'm finding myself really annoyed with attendance, especially since it may impact the number of days the morning class (read: my only option) occurs in a given week.

But things are opening up. Now that I'm implementing crossfit into the mix, maybe having one less day of bjj during the workweek isn't terrible. Maybe this is my cue to start hitting up weekend bjj open mats. I'd rather be instructed, but with my work schedule, that simply isn't going to happen without a lot of privates.

Derailed a bit from deciding whether I'm doing Berardi's diet plan or just doing Paleo. I'll probably end up with a hybrid of the two. Lots of work to do there. I've just been too strapped to shop smart lately.

It's time to start knocking a hole in my freezers anyhow, so I may as well start finding venison recipes. It's going to be what's to eat for ages.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my last post as a 35 year old

well, shit. I'm officially on the far side of my thirties.

fun morning of bjj, if a little short. Felt as though I was floundering during mount escape drilling, but I guess it wasn't too bad. Pretty sure my instructor would've been more than open with me about suckage.

My hand is still holding up well. A little achey, still a bit weak, but much much better. I still can't spend hours playing video games, but hey, I probably shouldn't be doing that anyway.

Took off work tomorrow. It's my day, dammit. Spending it my way. Which means I'll sleep until the cats insist on being fed (i.e.-- 730, same as always), have coffee, and then do some bas rutten cardio massacre. Looking at house(s), then I'm going to go have fish tacos at the only place in town smart enough to serve them. And I'll do this by myself since everyone I know has an irrational fear of fish tacos. idiots. No idea on my afternoon yet, but I'm going to judo class that evening. I know it's ridiculous to go to one class, but I like judo. I wish I could attend the class more often.

wish a lot of things. it's a rocky passage right now. I'm trying to not obsess over what I haven't done, or what I could've done differently, better, faster. Doing a lot of cost/benefit analysis with relationships. Some people seem to confuse tenure with "guest pass to act like a jerk". Unfortunate.

Sometimes you just put your money on the wrong horse.

bah. anyways, still trying to find my pace with training and improvement. It's tough. Small classes, limited instruction. That should probably be my cue to more aggressively pursue our curriculum and let it guide things on occasion.

I flatly refuse to feel older. or less capable. or hopeless. I'm just as strong, stubborn, and determined as I've ever been. Only now I'm a little wiser. Sometimes.

Or as Jay Z put it, "Thirty's the new Twenty"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

membership drive for people who bench < 150 lbs.

Epic morning class yesterday. Nothing but me and 3 decidedly stronger, kinetically fascinating fellas. I knew it was going to be a rough day of being brutalized, but it had it's good points...

perhaps the one I am most looking forward to pursuing was the notion of logging hundreds, thousands of reps of just one move. Muscle memory is something I am a huge fan of, but finding willing participants of the notion of "repping it out" is extremely challenging. None of us seem to be granted any really solid attention span, in spite of being quasi-obsessed with BJJ. This is to be expected in the high school to college age boys, but what excuse have I?

this idea came up between my instructor and the first guy who showed up -- apparently the notion coming from team lloyd irvin? -- that logging a metric shit-ton of reps is a way to become really, really good. Makes sense to me. The trick, again, is finding someone who is willing to actually do the work.

I would consider getting a grappling dummy were it not for fear of faulty speculations should something happen, I die, and when people came to go through my belongings, found the dummy and assumed perversion. What a sucky tombstone that would make. "here lies timmyle, we found her stuffed lifesize man, and wtf?!"

anyhow, I know of only one person obsessed enough to do this, and unfortunately we only share one common day of the week for classes.

that was going well until additional people started finally showing up. then it naturally turned into round robin. fine. I'm still making my peace with round robin, king of the hill, whatever. I was with people who at least let me work some, which was cool, aside from the mental roadblock of the whole patronizing nature of it. Yes I realize I can't have it both ways. It's just annoying.

then even later strong wrestler type boy shows up. He missed the part where I asked "hey turn it down a notch or two, huh?" as he proceeded to do what wrestlers do: go apeshit crazy. I mean that with respect. Part of me is really jealous that I can't impose my will like that.

I hate those rolls. I go back to defend defend defend. Which I now seem to pair with a good measure of oh, you want to see who's stubborn? Sorry, but I'm not tapping to a half ass brabo. If I'm not losing oxygen/blood flow to my brain, nope it ain't happening. This guy had been decidedly selfish, so I decided to return favor.

go ahead, crank on my neck to and fro. squeeze your arms with all your might. That arm isn't under my neck, hell it's not even across my chin. You go ahead and flood your oversized, purty muscles with lactic acid. I ain't tapping. I am, however, going to enjoy watching you struggle against someone your own size next round-- with tired arms. Enjoy a taste of your own medicine.

I hate having an attitude like that, I know it's poor. At one point, as I was being sloppily flattened out with a decidedly ridiculous level of intensity, I said "hey, congrats. you're strong." I'm sure the insult was lost. I don't know, I should probably look at this as the fella respected me enough to go hard instead of be the limp rag roll (which I detest more than the roid rage roll, believe me), but damn.

I'm writing it off as "it's just the way it is" and trying to not let it affect me so much. The mindset of "resistance is futile" only feeds that perpetual defense mode thing I complain of.

At least I got some clutch advice -- I finally was told what it was I was doing that kept getting me armbarred or triangled from standing guard pass (I'm sure my regular training partners are going to be bummed), and given what was quite possibly the most hilarious and true suggestion:

from the mouth of Bowman, "stop being so nice"

I almost forgot the award winning part of yesterday's hayelp!-fest: I dealt with some really, really strong individuals, gave it as much as I could until things started getting sore and pulled, tried to enact some offense on occasion, and didn't experience any pain from my wrist. I think it's healed. I think if it weren't healing/healed, yesterday would have pointed out the weaknesses. It's weaker, my hand gets tired (an odd sensation), my grip isn't what it used to be, but those are all workwithable things.

game on. hell yeah.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

yeah, listening to warnings. Not a strong point.

Started wearing my vibram fivefingers to the gym to lift. And this was all fine and well on chest/shoulders day, but a couple of days ago was legs day.

Legs day is always a big ol mess of me loading up way too much and just wreaking havoc on myself, but I really didn't anticipate several things/effects here. Leg presses I put up more than I have in ages (but that has been a steady increase anyways). Lunges, I was weaker (I'm assuming conventional shoes were giving way more stabilization than I thought). My arch nemesis, the hack squat, is still a wash. I'm not losing anything, but the gains are obscenely slow. I'm still working on finding the proper foot placement/alignment so my knees don't get sore.

I'm mostly taken aback by just how freaking sore my ankles are. Since I equate soreness with progress, though, I'll just make note and adapt. And by adapt I really mean "go about my workouts just the same and tell my ankles to suck it up already."

My wrist is doing really, really good. I'm giving it another week before making further decision on 2nd round of shots, but I'm about 85% certain it won't be necessary. I'm a much friendlier person without the chronic annoyance and pain.

On the mats, though, I'm still rolling like it's hurt. Which isn't great, since I've already identified a severely lopsided nature to my rolling as is-- all defense, next best thing to no offense. Granted, my wrist was hurting for well over 6 months. It's just a habit I'll have to get over with time.


still trying to keep with doing clubbells once a week, just to recondition my grip strength. I'm toying with the idea of doing stand up work again, since the gym has a new boxing instructor. I occasionally miss hitting things. Not enough time in the day/week to do all the different types of training I want to do.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

today = 1 week point

A week ago I was driving home with my sore, numb, aching wrist pumped full of lidocaine and steroids. Doc advised that I give it a couple of weeks before deciding if I needed additional shots or surgery.

SO where am I with it? It is better, but not great, not 100%. It seems I have some soreness still remaining where the epicenter of the pain once was. The range of motion has not yet returned. And there is smaller soreness above and below the shot site -- my thumb joint, my forearms... still occasional numbness.

But it's only week one of two. I'm testing it minimally. In general I am keeping my activity level below what it was when my wrist hurt. I may lift today, but it won't be anything more than what I did before.

Meanwhile, I'm a few weeks away from 36. Took half a day off so I could go to judo that evening. I miss judo. It was such a nice compliment to bjj.

Stupid evening shift job. Most people I work with consider management positions to step up the ladder. I look at them as a means of getting a day shift again. I've an interest in a marketing vp position that remains open, but am hesitant to jump. Not many people I work with explain mgmt jobs to be anything but stressful. A lot of folks went back to hourly positions after spending time as mgmt.

Went back to reading business related books. I've not been a student in ages, and I think that it's critical that I keep exposing myself to new material, new readings to keep me alert. I hate the complacency of no longer being in school sometimes.

intermission. time to go yell at UPS and go lift.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

heal, damn you.


Might need more shots. Wrist/thumb hurts differently, which I'm not sure qualifies as "less" nor "more"

De Quervain and his syndrome can suck it. I'm training tomorrow. Time to see where we're at with it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

wait and see. bah.

day 2 of wait and see if my wrist heals. Waiting isn't my strong suit.

thinking I'm going to do chest and shoulders tomorrow, that should be a decent test. (I say test as though I'll base my next action on the results of said test. What'll really happen is, I'll go to the gym, lift as heavy as I can without causing damage, and resume my usual schedule Monday, the wrist will just have to heal on the fly)

What has been surprising has been how much I've stopped using my right hand in everyday functions. I'm far from ambidextrous, but I'm not missing it by much.

I'm still worried the shot won't work, and that I'll have to get another, and then surgery. The larger attached fear being it remotely affecting my ability to train.

Muffling those thoughts as much as I can. It's early. And i do feel a lot less pain. If nothing else, maybe I can actually enjoy some ps3 again. and handwriting.

Friday, July 9, 2010


So I was diagnosed with De Quervain's yesterday, and received a shot of lidocaine and some anti-inflammatory steroid. I was told that this is all that is required to "cure" 70% of the people who suffer from it.

However, I may need an additional shot. Or surgery. For now, it's wait and see.

Normally I wake up and my first thought is "Gawdamn! My wrist hurts!" Today it was "ow, my damn back." Pulled something yesterday and it's been all sore and spasmey. So, I'm thinking the wrist is feeling better, but I'm not sure if it's because of the shot working, or if it's currently being out-pained by my back. I think it's the former, though. It isn't even putting off the same amount of heat it normally does.

So I'm hopeful. Dr. said it should gradually heal over the next 2 weeks, and that I would know if it was working or not.

Instead of following the decidedly negative tone I had earlier this week, I got proactive and requested a private from my instructor. And scheduled one for the next morning. Worked on some variations of open guard and half guard, my go-to positions for offense for now.

Both used to be real strong points for me. Then everyone just started smashing me into side control, where I've been hanging out and defending for months... years... feh I lost count. Lots to work on and develop, for sure, and I look forward to it. I mean, just during that half hour or so, there's the groundwork for what I could easily be working on for the rest of the year and beyond.

but for today, it's forced rest. damn back. grrrrrrr

Monday, July 5, 2010

more ramblings

more thoughts from camp--

I knew it before I even touched the mats when I got there. My jiu jitsu is horribly, horribly lopsided. I have no offense to speak of. I have long since grown accustomed to survival mode or defending to stalemates, or, more recently, getting caught midway through smash passing in a triangle or from said triangle into a nasty armbar (usually involving my already bad wrist).

This isn't uncommon, I found, as a few others mentioned the same affliction.

this is incredibly frustrating. My timing is non-existent, and I rarely see opportunities to attack. What attempts I do make are sloppy messes. Being told I have a good defense is of little consolation when the implication is: all someone has to do is quit attacking me, and I'll hand them something in the form of some half-hearted submission.

I hate being so predictable. But even since camp, I am realizing some serious ruts. Or a lack of branching out. Whichever way you want to look at it. I have gone from floundering in bottom side control to at least having the presence of mind to turn in and assume turtle, which is less miserable to be trapped in than side control, but once again: not really progress when it's just the next place I get stuck.

and I spend so much of my mat time just trapped in bottom side control. to the point it's making me bored -- a really rare sensation I feel towards bjj. Well, more frustrated than bored. But I'm also wondering do my training partners not get similarly tired of just sitting on me the whole time? I mean, myself, when I am seeing a pattern of mistake, I wheel back and figure "let's look at this and see where it's going wrong and make corrections."

no such help comes. And it's annoying as hell. Oh hey, congrats, you've got me in side control YET AGAIN. What a challenge it must have been. maybe this is just a symptom of training with people of equal rank. All jockeying for their next stripe/promotion. Why help anyone else? Or maybe this is is just what happens when your instruction is 90% king of the hill open mats.

morning class has a revolving cast of characters. Never sure which training partners will show up, which of them are cool with helping, which aren't. No real guidance. No wonder I've been stuck at same rank for years. I hate having this negative attitude about it, but I'm also done taking all of the blame for it.

and this is taking a much nastier tone than I'd like. I'm going to walk it off and get back to other tasks. I'm going to reorganize my kitchen today, dammit. TODAY. Step one: make the kitchen accessible and efficient, that I may feel more inclined to GASP cook my own meals.

Can't really go shopping yet, no room in the fridge. That will be next step.

I'm trying, honest, to make positive changes. But sometimes it's trying me.

Friday, July 2, 2010

at blogging, I = teh suck.

okay. I could seriously crash the internet gushing about the grappling camp last weekend in Richmond. And I will, it'll just take several attempts. or episodes. whichever.

also, typing for extended periods of time no longer works well with my wrist. (now that I've said that, watch me enter a novella)

my wrist that I'm going to an ortho surgeon this coming Thursday for. And hoping and praying I don't have to actually have surgery on, but acknowledging that something has to be done about this constant pain and weakness and inability to use to 100% effectiveness. I'm a little scared, sometimes a lot scared. The suspected diagnosis thus far is whatever DeQuervain's syndrome is.

they can do whatever they need to, so long as it aligns itself to long term ability to train.

I'm also going to try and restart using the PN system for regulating my apparently chaotic diet. I'm assing up the paleo diet in a major way. I hope to ultimately mesh the two. But first things first: whatever works.

so, as I alluded to, last weekend I packed up my truck and hauled out, solo as usual, to Richmond with no idea what to expect. I didn't know anyone there, wasn't entirely sure what to expect, and wasn't sure how long (or if) my wrist would let me participate. But I'd read about these camps before, and was so jealous of the experience it looked like -- how could I pass on the opportunity to train with a.) other women; b.) other women of varying belt levels; c.) some of the women whose bjj careers I have followed and admired and gained inspiration from?

what if I went and got my ass handed to me in merciless fashion? what if my wrist totally fell apart? how many weeks afterwards would I be eating top ramen? what if these people turned out to be assholes? what if I turned out to be the asshole?

feh. those insecurities were told to STFU and get in the backseat and buckle up. My bjj had stalled out, I was really frustrated with my practice, and wasn't sure what to do about it. Maybe this is what I needed to shake me out of my doldrums. Maybe this would be the ignition.

best. decision. ever.

Every person there was insanely cool, and nice, and helpful. And perhaps most important of all, JUST LIKE ME.

again - just like me. it was nice to be around people who understand how this study becomes more of a lifestyle than anything else. it's not a hobby, that's way too impersonal.

I'm skipping ahead here, quite a bit, but one of the larger points I took home with me was what's missing. In my bjj trip, in my attempts to lose weight, get stronger, and just about anything in general: lack of support. I don't really have a reliable, consistent, positive support system in place.

and at least half of the blame is mine. I isolate, refuse help, pridefully soldier on through whichever given adversity I face, getting by on being stubborn. And while there's plenty to be said for those traits when they're expressed in a positive fashion, but realistically, it's been coming more from a spiteful place.

I've come by it honest. I've had some really ugly stuff going on personally for the past few months, and it's poisoned the well. Actually, it may even go as far back as when I lost my grandparents. They were a huge support, and that void has loomed large in my world.

I didn't realize how off I've been. Grappling camp was the first time in a long time I've really felt like myself again. Not just in my bjj studies, but in general. And I'm looking to do whatever it takes to sustain that. I'm tired of restarts. Trying again. And I mean that in the sense that I know I can do all of these things, these goals I have are within reach. I just need a little support.

so I'm gonna try and not be such a wolfpack of one.

ouch. wrist says stop. more detailed gushing on chick grappling camp later.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

in a happier place

While I am still stuck on what seems to be a perpetual sentence to evening shift at work, at least the morning BJJ schedule was expanded to 3 mornings a week. This has been a godsend, not just to my practice and progress, but my whole well being.

no jiu jitsu, no life. This Wednesday, someone asked why sharks are so often chosen as gym mascots (our own being a hammerhead shark). I suggested "because they never stop moving, if they stop moving, they die." I've always had a soft spot in my heart for sharks (I still get teary eyed at the end of Jaws, and as a child, broke into an absolute fit of sobbing the first time I saw the shark get killed), as if I empathize with the notion. I'm hyper by nature. Short fused at times. I get bored way too easy. I stop moving, I start dying.

I feel the exact same way about jiu jitsu. If I can't train, it breaks my heart. Being able to do so now, three times a week, has been a real saving grace in a time chock full of stressful bullshit.

It hasn't been all smiles and happy rainbows, I'm having real serious frustration in being overpowered again and again. Having to ask "can you give me a little less resistance so I can actually try the move?" over and over. I absolutely detest that I'm weaker than the guys. I accept it more than I used to, but I still hate the humiliation of having to admit the weakness.

But that same tooling has to be making me better. And there's probably been more progress than I think. I just can't see it myself. I try not to let these frustrating phases overwhelm my profound joy and desire to keep learning, keep trying.

I got a new iPhone last week, and immediately started using an app to track my exercise and eating. I don't need a drill sergeant, I need to see figures. Connect input with results, good and bad. This week, I committed to toeing the caloric restrictions it suggested. I also added a goal of staying below 150 g of carbohydrates each day. Achieved that in the vast majority of the days, easily stayed below the caloric goals, didn't starve at all, and lost at least 3.5 pounds.

It wasn't that hard at all. I can do this. I feel better already. I'm upping my protein intake, and I think that's helping me not be sore as much. Which means I can get back to training more. Burning more goop. Unearthing more muscle. Becoming a leaner shark, that I might better keep up with the rest.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

getting back in the saddle

This week I have what is most likely my final chiro visit re: my wrist issue. It isn't 100%, but it's far better than what it was. I think if I keep icing it daily, doing the stretching, and just being careful in general, I'll be fine.

More importantly, morning bjj classes have expanded-- I can go three mornings a week now, which is probably the best news I've had in weeks. I miss the evening class crew, but with no job, I can afford no jiu jitsu, so there ya go.

Sadly, I've found that my mat stamina is shot all to hell. All the airdyning, elliptical training, biking, etc. has amounted to approximately jack squat when it comes to not being a weak kitten on the mats. At least my mind stayed sharp -- moves, counters, strategies played in my head while I rolled briefly last Wednesday, neurons dutifully shot off ideas to my muscles.

And the muscles said "yeah, go f()*& yourself. We're tired"

Fine, for now, I'm only good for maybe 10 minutes. Hopefully by the end of this week, it'll be 12. Next week, 15. Onward. It's been torturous, not training bjj. I've missed it so much that I'm elated to even come dragging home from a class where I've summarily had my ass kicked the whole time.

I've lost most of my weekend to watching the PanAms. I'm pouring through old GracieMags. I'm loading my ipod with more instructionals than I can ever hope to watch. Yep, addiction is back in full bloom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

got the airdyne

Probably the only positive thing I can report at this point is I finally came up on an airdyne, and have set it up in my living room.

I am presently under the care of my chiropractor in trying to resolve this chronic wrist issue. I have another 3 visits this week, and this friday we decide whether this is working or not. If it is, great. If it is not, I'm probably looking at shots or surgery.

Under her advice I did not train last week. And I probably shouldn't this week either. I am, however, still hitting up nautilus. Had a decent overall effort last week.

Work schedule keeps changing (sometimes even mid-week), which has made it seriously difficult to manage my training time, diet, sleep, and anything else. I do not do well with all the gear-shifting. I really need for work to stabilize into some sort of predictable pattern so that I can plan accordingly.

my weight loss has stalled out for 2 weeks. I've made some poor choices, haven't worked out as much as I normally would like to, slept poorly, and failed to stay on any sort of schedule. The only thing I can do is try and do a better job of controlling the factors I can affect, and try to minimize the effects of what variables I can't control.

It's just really hard when there is little to no support for the efforts. Having a trainer question me every other day doesn't motivate me, it just amplifies how bad I already feel about being stalled out. Being injured means light/no workouts. Which just bums me out that much more. It's a bitch of a cycle.

but I know what I need to do. Just need to put it to work.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

the guilty check in/update

well, I don't know that "guilt" is the right word. One can only document so much on so many forums...

At any rate, it's roughly a month in from my last post, and weight loss continues. I'm down a total of roughly 15 now, which is on point for my goals so far -- steady 2# loss a week.

Things I've learned: quit eating full meals late. More protein. Don't let emotional matters influence your eating. More protein. Yes, vanilla is in fact a screw-uppable flavor. More protein (not vanilla). Less is more (except for protein). I don't need to redline everything I do in order to make progress. If anything, it's detrimental to my progress when my joints are tore up, I'm tired, sick, etc.

Other things: why why WHY do I keep getting sick? I don't go around licking doorknobs. I wash my hands. What the crap? I've been like, skipping from cold to cold all winter. And yes, mom, I got a flu shot. This is ultimately the most frustrating deterrent to my progress (besides snow, perhaps).

I'm a few weeks out from investing in an airdyne for my apartment. Will probably move a weider crossbow (think generic bowflex) in shortly thereafter. That is, if I don't move between now and then. I am stepping up my house search chiefly because I'm tired of sharing living space with a building full of chain smoking morons who routinely wake me up late at night AND early in the morning. I am firmly convinced that half my ailments are due to allergic/asthmatic reactions to the ever-present aroma of various smokes in my building. Air purifiers not so much helping.

So I need my own space. I need to not share walls or floors with others. And I'm really at a point where I need my monthly payments to earn me some equity instead of lining the pockets of my lazy landlords. Let more drug dealers move into my place. I'll free up another slot for them.

I can't really post of any progress in jiu jitsu, because I think I've only been maybe twice in the span of a month. I've been sick THAT often. I am noticing a marked re-interest in stand up. Hell, I even ordered new bag gloves (some killer-looking Rivals. I'm anxious to see if that cross strap makes any difference to wrist stability, review pending, naturally).

This year's main goal is dropping weight. Running a close second is getting to stripe #2. I've been at 1 stripe since Sept. 2008. Granted, I've been through a host of school changes in that time, but still. There's some consistency available now, so it's time to also put my training on rails and move forward.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recalibrate and try again

Wrist issue has been diagnosed as tendonitis. Advice? Well take a pile of advil for 2 weeks and see how it feels. If that doesn't work, we'll try cortisone shots. If not that, surgery.

Okay so I did that. And it pretty much feels the same. I can't flex my thumb more than 30-45 degrees. This makes for a host of painful annoyances on the mats.

Oh yeah, took like a month and a half off from bjj, judo, the whole bit. I'm doing my own diagnoses from now on. The first one being: bjj and judo didn't cause my tendonitis. So I'm back at it.

I'm very fortunate to have a friend I train with whose spent time as a personal trainer. He's helping me out, since I clearly have no idea what the hell I'm doing anymore. As of this writing, I'm on the eve of my 2nd Monday morning weigh in. Last week, I'd dropped 6 pounds. And that was with only one trip to nautilus and one night of bjj. That is, 6 pounds off just from diet.

Variables at play this week include daily morning cardio, whether or not I'll continue to have egg protein shakes before said cardio (or go on empty stomach henceforth), and one variable I KNOW I'll be changing: yeah, just because I had a 2-a-day training day that ended with an evening of martial arts training doesn't mean I get to pork out on a footlong from subway.

(I say pork out, but at least they were relatively harmless in terms of content. It was the portion size methinks that was off the standards I'm aiming for)

I'm nervous and anxious to see what the scales say tomorrow morning. I'm being way more public about it because I probably need the pressure of guilt to stay on point.

As for bjj, I was utterly frustrated by a number of items. Butterfly guard in general eludes me, both in offense and especially defense. As in escapes. I can't correctly judge which way to shift my weight when in butterfly guard. I identified quickly that my base being limited compared to most everyone means I'll have to find other methods (I say base in terms of the say the base of a pyramid - the available span I have to balance my posting points -- it's smaller than 90% of my opponents, so it's making it way easy for them to off-balance me).

People escaping my open guard by backing out. Laziness on my part, I am sure. That, and I'm accustomed to most people playing into my open guard with forward pressure instead. I need to work on keeping hooks in, keeping them near so as to tie them up/sweep.

Tying up too high on the arm for omoplatas. My legs are biting up way up into the armpit/shoulder, which is all fine and well for making the opponent topple, but when I go for that rotation to sit up and lock in the omoplata, my mobility is limited by having my hips pinned to their shoulder. I can't achieve the sit-up.

My grips are severely affected right now. Setting up chokes is about out. Difficulty with moves involving changing grips from sleeve to sleeve. Can't post much, nor push away using my right hand. Trying to maintain c-grips to secure elbows when applicable. Pistol grip is out. All tendonitis related. grrrrrr.

Judo proved more difficult. Not surprising, given the gripping issues. Need to work on my leg sweep more in O soto gari.

Still, all in all, it was nice to be back to the usual grind.