BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

White Christmas

on December 28, 2010

Wow, it feels like such a long time since I’ve done BJJ or blogged. And yet, at the same time, the time went rather quickly and I’m not happy about being back at work. I don’t know how people can just turn their work brains right back on as if they’d never been away (perhaps that’s it — they probably worked over the holiday. Ugh.); mine is still stuck in vacation mode, and I just can’t seem to get going.

Nothing exciting happened over the holiday, except the snow. I did cook a venison roast, and it was possibly the best thing I have ever eaten. Also, deer sausage.

This was the year of the iPod at our house: my mom wanted one, and my dad wanted accessories for his. My brother wrapped a present for me — one and a half feet tall, covered in layers of green tissue paper and clear plastic wrap, held together by staples (tape is too expensive, he said) and red string. When I finally got the paper cleared off, there was an oatmeal container on top of a box! The oatmeal container was just to make it taller and oddly-shaped. The box contained… more tissue paper and another box! And more staples holding it closed. Inside that box, though, was my present, Final Fantasy XII. (And then he insisted that I hook it up in the living room and start playing. So that was the rest of my holiday, except when football was on.)

So then I didn’t feel bad for wrapping his video game, then wrapping it in tissue paper, then putting it in a Victoria’s Secret box, and then wrapping that. 😉

It started snowing Friday night and continued until some time Sunday. I worked from home yesterday because the roads still weren’t great and I’m not a good snow/ice driver. (I did log many hours in FFXII — but my work consisted of “make a list, wait until someone approves/offers feedback, edit list, repeat”, so lots of down time.) So didn’t go to class last night, since it would have meant driving on those same roads.

My shoulder, except for occasional twinges, has been doing well, especially the last few days. Tom has told me that a lot of my problem is my sloppy posture, so I’ve been trying very hard to at least keep my shoulders back in all this time spent sitting. But today at work, I noticed it coming on again. I think it’s the ergonomics — well, lack thereof.


I got in early, and Justin was already there teaching a private with Ray. I got dressed and went to sit in a corner of the cage to listen. Justin’s very big on details and posture and philosophies behind things; I could sit and listen to him talk jiu-jitsu all day. He fixed my high hip problem — need to sit back further. (Tried it many times tonight, and of course it worked. Not great, because I’d invariably dive forward again, but at least the fix is in my head.) There were other details he talked about that were also helpful, though now I’ve forgotten them, meh.

After Ray left, I got to roll for a few minutes with the new black belt. He let me play on top for a while, and then had me defending under side control. And once he tapped me by walking his feet up the cage wall and doing a shoulder stand on my chest, just to be funny. Ow! By then Will and Andrew had come in, so we stopped to talk to them. Andrew wanted to roll a little while later, so we went for about 15 minutes or so. Paused in there for a few minutes after he wrenched a little hard and abruptly on my left shoulder; gave it some time to rest before going again just to be safe, though it didn’t hurt.

My cardio was non-existent. I didn’t feel tired, but I could never seem to get a good lungful of air. All that sugar I ate over Christmas, *le sigh*. (Why does so much holiday food have to be bad for you?)

Small class, just the four of us and a few more. Started rolling, with Jess. I tried to let her play on top, so grabbed on sleeve and a lapel and sat back, but she’d grab grips and sit back, too. Fine, I’ll play on top then. Quick cut-through pass to side control, then worked for armbars and chokes from either side control or mount. Entire round was several loops of that. Noticed that I’m still sitting back too soon on armbars.

Then a round with Will, and the mat karma caught up to me. Now I spent the match getting passed, then choked or armbarred from side control or mount. Also an omoplata on my left shoulder; it didn’t hurt, but when I tried to roll, he grabbed my legs and stacked toward me and I got bent on my neck funny, so verbally tapped. Shoulder is fine, I promise, and I will usually tap before anything hurts too much. (Usually. There are times when I’m stupid.)

Drilling was passing the z-guard, for when the guy commits his knee across deep. Drilled with Jess.

One more round of rolling, and Will started it by taking me down. Hmm, so I guess that means you want to roll with me, eh? Okie dokie! He then did his Pablo Popovitch impersonation while I tried to butt-scott and back him in to the corner. (I’m not sure exactly what the impersonation is besides running around far, far away because I was too busy trying to angle him at the corner.) When that didn’t work, I stood up again, but then we got down back down to playing jiu-jitsu. And then he crossed my feet for me! He let me to his back, and then he reached down and grabbed my feet and crossed them, then held them there while he ankle locked me!! Oh the shame! Dirty, dirty tricks! Found myself in 50/50 land a few times. Got passed lots. Got swept lots. Urgh. I should have asked Santa for some jiu-jitsu. No, probably should have asked for 4 inches and 30 lbs; that at least might make it more even.

Kids’ class tomorrow night after an appointment with Dr. Tom. (I got a letter from him today; starting January 1st, he’ll be working with Ray, the other chiropractor, though I’ll still go to see Tom. The location changes, but it might be easier to get to.) I’m confused already because I worked from home on Monday, so today at work felt like a Monday. Then I found out today that I have nearly 40 hours of PTO; I’ll need extra next year because of Jennie’s wedding (have to take that Friday and Monday off), but I can still use a little bit this year, so I’m taking Thursday, and we already get Friday for New Year’s Eve. Hey, that’s only 1 more day of work this year!

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4 responses to “White Christmas

  1. Leslie, do you have an ergonomics person at work? I think it’s actually *required* that they either have someone in charge of ergonomics (my former housemate was the point person for his company) or pay for a consultant to come in. Have that person look at your workstation and equipment, and figure out what you need and how to adjust it. The company should pay for all.

  2. AJ says:

    Same for a girl here at work, she ended up having her whole desk raised so she could work standing up. She was given a chair that is barstool height so she could sit down. Its a pretty decent setup, one I’d consider if I didn’t like slouching so much…

  3. Lynn says:

    I developed some Lumbar issues (8 years of programming…grrr). Last year I moved my workstation to standing (with the optional chair) and I REALLY, REALLY like it. However, I find that I will still round my shoulders forward so I implemented the cheapest of all possible solutions…I taped my keyboard to the very edge of my desk. I find through the day that I subconsciously keep trying to push it forward to get my shoulder slouch going, but when it’s taped to the edge of the desk I can keep my elbows back better. This is a little something I’ve been trying for about a month.
    Being in IT is horrific for our bodies and I’m trying everything I can to stop/reverse the damage that sitting for a living had started doing to me.
    Good luck with it all.
    p.s. I really do love the standing workstation. And with the bar-height chair I get to sit when I’m feeling absolutely lazy. Took some getting used to, some strengthening to get up to it, but now it rocks.

  4. leslie says:

    @SavageKitsune: I think we do, but she’s been out a lot the last few months with medical issues. They’ve mentioned paying for anything I need before, but there hasn’t been problem enough — or one that might be addressable with ergonomics — until now.

    @AJ: I used to have a standing desk at a previous job, and I loved it. Tried to get one here when I started, so they bought me a riser for my laptop… I’m short, but even that is way too short for me. Again, though, it wasn’t an issue until now.

    @Lynn: Yeah, used to have one, miss it muchly. I was having a lot of quad, glute, hamstring, and lower back issues when I first started BJJ, but the standing desk fixed all of that quickly. At that job, though, we had cubicles with the built-in desks, so the corner piece could (somewhat) easily be elevated. Here we have free-standing desks with dividers between them, so no easy way to convert it.

    I do also need to work on getting a phone headset or handset, since a lot of my work is also listening to phone queues, and cradling a phone on my shoulder is very, very stressful to that shoulder.

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