If anyone happened on my blog within the last week, you may have seen that it was not available. I contacted WordPress support, and they told me that it had been flagged by their anti-spam robots as violating their advertising terms. Once the humans looked at the blog, though, and realized that my blog actually didn’t break any rules, they fixed the block and so now we’re back.
There was the US Grappling Submission Only tournament at the beginning of the month. I spent most of the month recovering from that, taking extra time off for family/holiday, and/or taking time just to rest. On the one hand, this has been great, because I really do need to take time to rest and recover. On the other hand, physics is starting to catch up with me: “A body at rest tends to stay at rest.” Lol. So there will probably be some pain associated with restarting classes later this week. Oi.
This year was largely marked by an MCL tear at the end of March and the ensuing recovery. I spent a lot of time on the sidelines initially, and then had to work around the knee for many more months. Shrimping (!) and bridging were entirely out. Butterfly hooks were out for quite a while, too. Even mount, oddly, was impossible for a while. At times I could hardly drill because there was so much internal pressure on my knee. But with time and work and a few months of lifting, the knee has recovered to the point that I’m now rolling without any braces. While I’ve been able to recover most of my previous game, should I want it, I still have zero bridging in my game. That’s kind of an important thing, so “Learn to Bridge” will be my #1 goal for next year.
I do feel that I learned a lot this year, too, probably because of the knee. Since I couldn’t do techniques entirely as designed because my knee wouldn’t cooperate, I had to modify them, sometimes extremely. But this led to having to understand basic principles even more so, as the lower half of my body was often quite worthless. (It also led me in to the bad habit of giving up the armbar as my go-to mount escape, so fixing that tendency will be my #2 goal for next year.)
2012 is also the year in which I finally started to define my own training and what that means to me. (I had to do this as a result of being more hampered by this knee than anyone understood. I had to take time to rest between classes because my knee required it.) I realized this year that I don’t have to obsess over training in order to train. That I don’t have to train every time the doors are open in order to progress. That I don’t have to be the first one in the door and the last one out in an attempt to soak up every morsel of instruction. That I don’t have to train through injury and illness in order to not lose what little I have learned. That being in charge of my own training means that I set my training schedule and training intensity based on *me*, and not on what other people think I ought to be doing.
In 2012, I had to miss out on a lot of Open Mats and tournaments because I didn’t trust my knee. But now that my knee is doing so much better, I intend to look for more such opportunities in 2013. (Speaking of, there’s a Women’s Open Mat on January 19th at Richmond BJJ from 1-3pm. I’ll be there!)