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.