Bad ju-ju-jitsu

Well, that was probably the worst night I’ve had in a long while. Hard to get any worse than that. Everything sucked in a “why do I even bother?” kind of way.

But if it were easy, everyone would do it, right? It takes a special kind of masochism to come back for more…

I got in early, as usual, and tried to warm up thoroughly. Body wasn’t exactly thrilled. Joints are stiff. Everything is slow. I don’t need this tonight…

Class started with rolling. I started with a circuit. … Oh. Well, at least I don’t have a whole class to dread what’s coming.

Single-arm hangs, burpees, pushups around the tire, single legs, single/sprawl, alligators, shrimping. Everything was a struggle. My body would not move. Felt like I was dragging myself through it all. Then a round with Justin, and he got the nod to murderlize me. Which he did, and which is fine. But I was so slow — I’d finally react to the first move when he was four moves ahead of that — and Tim was on me about it. Everything the guys were saying last week about being too slow and needing to move & react. Started standing for a few minutes, then on the ground. He even tried to go a little lighter after the first few minutes, and I still couldn’t keep up. Couldn’t hit that ankle lock escape, either. Pathetic. And then I feel extra awful that I can’t meet their expectations and I feel that I’m letting them down and making all their extra work with me worthless. And that’s the worst. Now my mind was starting to break down.

More circuit? Maybe here, maybe later; can’t remember. Somewhere a couple rounds with Theresa. I think he wanted me to go hard on her, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Rounds with Tim in there, too, starting from standing. A few breaks while he rolled with Theresa, then back to it. Sluggish. Body is not cooperating. More circuit, more rolling. More and more pathetic. Can’t keep track of my limbs, can’t keep track of my breathing. Just awful. This is one of those nights where, if quitting were a possibility, I would quit. But it’s not, so of course I won’t.

He tried to send me home several times, but I refused to go, so we went for quite a while. Eventually had a longer break at the end of class, then waited him out again until he said I could do one more thing — took the gi top off for gi pullups and hangs until my grips gave out, which didn’t take long.

But during that longer break, Tim talked to me. Told me I need to not take myself or training so seriously, that this should be fun and not another job. I said I just want to be better at this and it doesn’t feel like I’m getting anywhere. He assured me that I’m doing fine, and I know he must be right — and the fact that he’s giving me all this extra training for a tournament means that he does care about me and does believe I can do this (because otherwise he’d just tell me to make sure my cardio was good and would leave me to do it myself). I just wish sometimes that I could see it.

He also said I need to roll with the spazzy boys who I don’t like to roll with, more for the mental exercise of keeping myself calm and under control, though also for the unexpected crap that they do. Blerg. Do not like.

11 thoughts on “Bad ju-ju-jitsu

  1. Just posting for solidarity this time. No advice. You are doing great. You’re working out hard and I know it doesn’t feel like anything is helping now, but it will pay off. Stay strong. Take care of yourself. You’re doing great.

  2. Have to agree with Neil on this one. You may not qualify for full blown over training but judging from your previous posts as well as this one it definitely sounds like central nervous system (CNS) burnout.

    You can still do BJJ and very light circuits to stay loose but you probably need to just “play” lightly for a minimum of 3 days and even better for the entire week.

    I’m taking it easy this week for the same reason (you can read about my week at http://zenmojobjj.blogspot.com/). Don’t beat yourself up – rest and recuperation IS PART OF EVERY PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM – and it should be part of yours too.

    Train hard, stay strong, grab a nap ;-).

  3. Hang in there! You’re way too hard on yourself.

    I’ve been making myself roll with the spazzy white belt boys that I don’t like for the same reason Tim said you should train with them. We can whine about them together. A few weeks ago, I yelled at one in the middle of class. Loud. Like, everyone else stopped rolling to see what he did-loud. Oops. To be fair, he deserved it.

  4. Girl, you and I were cut from the same stone. I feel that way a lot. One of my instructors recently had a very similar talk with me. I told him I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see and was complaining that I felt like I was sucking. He said I was over thinking things.

    He gave me this advice: Pick one grapple a night where I go all out, as hard as I can. Then, in the other grapples, just play and try stuff. Don’t worry about what bad positions you land in. Just have fun and stay relaxed.

    I did that last night and had a great time.

    Think one added element for us gals is that we feel the need to prove ourselves and not to “let people down”. We want to be tough. We want to be technical. We want to be able to hang with the boys. But I think we end up making it more about trying to make them proud than about us enjoying the sport. Maybe that’s just me, though. lol. What do you think?

  5. @Kintanon: Thanks. 🙂

    @Neil: 3 more weeks until the tournament. Then I can deal with over-training (and recovery)…

    @Zen Mojo: Yeah, I understand. That’s what I was thinking when I was trying to warmup before class and not getting far. But until the tournament is over, my training isn’t my own.

    @Chrissy: I don’t know any other way to be. :/ Guess that’s might be what I need to work on next…

    Ugh, I don’t like having to housebreak them 😦

  6. @Allie:

    Think one added element for us gals is that we feel the need to prove ourselves and not to “let people down”. We want to be tough. We want to be technical. We want to be able to hang with the boys. But I think we end up making it more about trying to make them proud than about us enjoying the sport.

    That’s it exactly. And I’d rather know that they were happy than have fun myself.

  7. @Leslie: Well, they aren’t happy to see you burn yourself out and not improve, are they? So what are you accomplishing by being hard-headed? Your training’s not your own, you say? So what’s with this refusal to go home when instructed? You are putting a lot of energy and determination into working hard. Focus that energy and will into improving your bjj, not into being tough for its own sake. Remember that BJJ is combat (of sorts). Winning the war (tournament) requires strategy, tactics(techniques), and training. Work on your strategy- not just the strategy you intend for your matches, but also a strategy to make your training effective. None of these elements should exist for their own sake. Use them in concert with each other to achieve your goal.

    Rolling with spazzy boys can be fun. (Call me crazy, I really think so.) But, if you are hell bent on Not having fun . . .

  8. …understand the getting ready for a big event. Just make sure you are communicating how your body is doing back to your coaches (and listen when they try to send you home ;-)). Any coach knows that the going in PLAN is just “a wish dressed up in a party dress.” They will adjust accordingly as long as you communicate.

    As to your motivational “superwoman was here” conundrum – unless your coach’s name is Josh Koshcheck, I’m sure he will still be proud of you regardless of the bling you bring home (I’m proud of you just reading how hard you are training!)

    Good luck!

  9. Leslie I have to disagree with the “I can rest after the tournament” philosophy. Medically, biologically, physiologically, that’s bunk.

    First read this article on periodization and overcompensation…

    http://www.grapplearts.com/Tapering-Peaking-Article.htm

    Then read Dev’s post:
    http://devbjj.blogspot.com/2010/03/training-intensity-prior-to-tournament.html

    And don’t forget, these plateau stretches where it feels like nothing goes right are usually heralds of a jump upwards in the click factor. Don’t stress (as much as you can) and know that we’re here with you. I have been having many of the same types of days. Take time to REST and recover and make sure you walk into that tournament feeling sassy and kick ass, not drag-tail-feathers beat down.

  10. @MC: “Focus that energy and will into improving your bjj, not into being tough for its own sake.” *hangs head* Yeah, that’s what I was trying to do.

    @Zen Mojo: Thanks. 🙂

    @Georgette: Sassy would be good, and not just for the tournament. I miss sassy.

    And thanks, everyone, for beating this into my hard head. You’ll be happy to know that I finally took your advice and listened to my body (which was getting close to falling asleep standing up — oops, might have waited a little long to acknowledge it), and took this afternoon off to sleep and tonight off from practice.

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