Six Years and Counting

…counting from the couch still, but still counting. Should be able to go back on Monday and at least do the warmup (but we all know how slippery that slope is…).

This last year has not been kind to my body in terms of injuries. And since I finally broke the guilt-feeling from not training all the times!!1, I’ve taken a lot more time off and trained a lot less. Now, that’s not to say that I like sitting around because of dumb injuries to mostly unimportant things such as brains, at the same time I’m not worrying over lost time or feeling badly about missing class. Jiu-jitsu, while a demanding mistress, is a fun hobby, one that I am serious about but no longer obsessed over and one that I want to enjoy for a long time. And I like it that way. Maybe it helps that I feel as if I’m not lost anymore on the mats and so can pick it back up & practice as desired, or at least as if I can figure out what I did incorrectly and work to fix it. But it doesn’t freak me out that I’m not BJJ-24-7. I also seem to be far less worried about achieving perfection in BJJ, which is also very freeing.

So, not stressing out that I’m not training at the moment, but still looking forward to getting back on the mats for another year of training.

Progress Report, June 2013

Well, this month had its share of highs and lows. Highs being the times when Operation Be More Assertive appeared to make progress. Lows being when OBMA wasn’t working, scoring zero points at the tournament, and popping my “good” knee in a heel hook. And that last one kind of derailed everything since…

I’ve been out for the last week applying Tiger Balm, heat, and Epsom salt baths regularly. I’ve also been using mobilizations from Becoming a Supple Leopard to that entire leg. Although the pop felt & sounded like it came from the inside (MCL), most of the pain and tightness since have been on the outside (LCL).

So far, the knee seems to be progressing much faster than the MCL tear on the other leg last year. This morning I was able to bridge and reach with only a little tightness — and no pain! — in that knee. I can also almost kneel; lacking just a few inches to sit back fully. I even accidentally sat down cross-legged yesterday, and the knee did not mind! Knee, you’ll be back to spaghetti legs before you know it.

I will stay off the mats for another week, though, so that I’m not tempted to throw away the current progress. (Also I have Thursday off and am taking Friday for the holiday, so I’m just going to rest and enjoy.)

In other news, I’ve been job searching rather half-heartedly for the last few months, kind of hoping that things would change enough here that I wouldn’t really have to. Well, instead they’ve changed the opposite way, so that I really do have to. I applied to a posting last night and, as of a few moments ago, I have my first phone interview scheduled for tomorrow. So we’ll see how that goes…

Progress Report, May 2013

This month started out with the same refrain of “OMG I suck so bad at this/Why am I still doing this to myself?/Am I ever going to get any better at this?” I sort of knew what I needed to do, but I didn’t quite know the steps to get there without becoming a raging Hulk. Then Josh posted his “Operation Be More Assertive Is A Go”, and that has jump-started my own “Operation Be More Assertive.

The difference between the beginning of the month and the end is huge. I feel much better about myself and my jiu-jitsu at the end of each class, and I’m starting to feel again as if I’m learning something in every roll. Also, I’m working harder instead of conserving so much energy with my usual lazy game. (I’ve even been sore the day after class! That hasn’t happened in a while.) I’ve managed to flip the switch between rolling with newer white belt women and then rolling with the blue belt ladies and the guys, and am doing better about keeping my own intensity and drive at the level I want.

Still a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to not allowing sweeps: I still tend to give up after just a little bit of resistance — but I do at least now recognize when I give up too early (usually right as the mat rushes up to meet me, heh), which is a start. I’m catching myself waiting around for them to move first, and am kicking myself in to gear to start sweeping or escaping or whatever is needed. I’m also going for submissions far, far more (and this is the area I thought I’d have the most trouble getting started!), and am really surprised to be getting them straight our or to *just* miss (and then to almost immediately realize what I missed in the setup).

It’s more than a bit exhilarating to realize that I do actually know — and can use! — some jiu-jitsu.

Progress Report, April 2013

Sick at the end of March/beginning of April. Just about the time I got back in the groove, sick again. I’m hoping to start back again tonight, but we’ll have to see how it goes; I’m still not 100% on the Feeling Better scale. Meh.

Progress Report, January 2013

I missed quite a number of classes this last month, either because class was cancelled due to weather or because I was home & warm due to weather and had no desire to go back out in the cold.

But there is good news this month: I can bridge again! I forget to do it most of the time because I haven’t been able to without pain for six months, but I’m getting better about reminding myself to at least try it during rolls. I’ll get under bottom side control and my inner jiu-jitsu commentator (very calm right now; not being a spazzy Joe Rogan at all. Perhaps more as I imagine Saulo to be) will tell me that I should practice bridging now. Sometimes, I even follow his advice.

I took this month off from my group lifting class as I tried to evaluate whether it would fit with my goals, schedule, and budget. I’ve decided to give it another try, so that will pick back up again on Monday.