Friday, February 27, 2015

So Much Better

Got a great night's sleep.

Did a neuropsych evaluation this morning, felt good, happy, productive all day long.

No Judo lesson tonight, so I went back to JSD for more sparring.  Tonight I got all teenage boys, which were good matches for me.  They go hard and fast, but they are closer to my size than the men.  As usual, there were no other women.  A few come out once in a while, but I'm the only one who spars regularly.  Or did.

This was the last scheduled night off for Judo, I think, so I am committed through May.

I also have a new childbirth class starting this Thursday, so I'll be committed there as well through May.  This will be a mixed blessing, as it's lucrative work that I enjoy, but I will miss 12 weeks of Beginner BJJ class, which I also enjoy. I'll still have Sundays, but to get another weekly class in, I'll have to steal time away from JSD for a while, which was not my intention. I'm considering Thursday mornings, or an occasional Monday or Wednesday night.  Another option is taking a Tuesday or Saturday no-gi class, but that seems to be for more advanced students.  I tried it once and felt like I was out of my league, at least for now.

My morning training buddy tries to convince me I need a rest day. I do understand his point, but I also don't think twoish hours per day is that hard on my body, especially compared to what I did two years ago to prepare for my black belt test.  For a long time, I was putting in more than 20 hours per week, and now it's less than 15.  Considering how crappy I feel when I don't get that, I think it's important that I stay consistent.

I also heal faster, have less pain and inflammation, and don't need regular Advil like I did before going Paleo two years ago.

But that's another story.

I'm off to bed for hopefully another awesome sleep.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Now, That's What I'm Talking About

One hour of sparring this morning.

Two hours of BJJ tonight.

Coming home in a mild state of post-workout euphoria and crashing with a glass of wine, happy and satisfied, Good Neurotransmitters coursing through my brain.

This is what I needed.

Ironically, the day could have gone differently.  When I showed up for morning JSD class, The Master commented that he wasn't sure if I'd be in today, seeing as how I'm injured and it's the last Thursday of the month - Sparring Day.  I had completely forgotten.  I was cold, tired and the thumb was indeed sore.  I weighed my options.  Go home, stay and watch, stay and spar.

I stayed and sparred.  What the hell, I was already there.

Other than the fourth Thursday morning of the month, sparring classes are held on Friday nights. Despite years of consistent attendance, in the last two months, I have only been to one evening sparring class due to the new Judo lesson I've been taking instead.  I didn't think I'd do well kicking and punching today, being rusty and all, but it actually felt really good.  I got to work with an especially fun partner twice, we went pretty hard, and for my last match, I wound up grappling with one of the bigger guys, working on some ground skills.  I was toast, but it was still fun and my thumb was fine in its splint.

I was pumped about going to BJJ class tonight. On Thursdays, there are warm-up drills, usually a self-defense lesson, a basic BJJ skill to work on, and a lot of free-rolling with a variety of partners.  The self-defense tonight included a good Judo throw, we worked on guard passing as our BJJ skill, and we rolled.  I worked with good people, forgot about my (well-protected) thumb and just enjoyed wrestling.  A few guys gave me pointers, and two of them told me I move exceptionally well for a white belt. It's encouraging to get that kind of feedback when pretty much everyone there is better than I am right now, and I haven't rolled since before the thumb break.  My longtime training buddy worked with me as well, and asked if I'm ready to resume our 5 a.m. workout routine. I told him I was, so that's set up for next week.

It was a good night on many levels.

And I've learned that all I need to to get my Mojo back is 3 hours of intense fighting and several surges of adrenaline every day.

Maybe that's why martial arts is my thing and not crochet or flower arranging.

Whatever.  I'm just glad to feel like myself again.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two Weeks

... and the thumb is still puffy. It's feeling better enough that I'm tempted to take chances with it, but I've still got several more weeks of healing to go. So for classes, and most of life, actually, I've been continuing to splint and modify.  No burpees, limited spin kicks, limited throws and falls. No sparring or free rolling. Also, no turning the car ignition or brushing my teeth the normal way.

My motivation hasn't been great to begin with this winter, and due to this latest development, the lure of curling up with the cat and watching Netflix instead of doing any form of exercise has been powerful. I've been forcing myself to go to JSD - half the time because I don't want to bail on my cardio partner or other people who are expecting me to be there - and while I haven't once regretted going, I haven't been pushing myself as hard as I need to be.  I'm not working up much of a sweat, and I'm sure my brain is not producing the usual cocktail of good stuff my brain usually produces when I work out.  Serotonin.  Dopamine.  Norepinephrine. These are the things that make me continue to show up every day, month after month.

Lately, I'm kinda blah about it all. The more blah I feel, the less I push myself... and the more blah I feel. It's a vicious cycle I'm continuously trying to break lately.

Tonight I dragged my butt to do an hour each of BJJ and Judo instead of my usual Wednesday cardio kickboxing and JSD classes.  What I really wanted to do was stay home. The last thing I wanted was to go out and be social. Or try new things, Or feel sucky and incompetent.  And while the people at the BJJ/Judo school have been wonderful and welcoming, I'm still a new person there and a white belt.  It's a huge step out of my comfort zone, at a time when all I want to do is curl into a ball and be... comfortable.

But I did it, and of course it was fine and I was happy I went.  The thumb was safe and comfortable in its little plastic splint, and I forgot about it and did all of both classes without holding back or modifying.  Finding a partner to work with wasn't awkward or difficult - they found me - and I was so focused on learning new stuff, the time flew by.  I actually broke a sweat, and I got to throw people and wrestle with them - all stuff I like, and I didn't have to be fantastic at any of it because I'm a white belt.

Sometimes, it's really nice to be a white belt.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be back in my black uniform, in my familiar dojang, plugging away at the same skills I've been trying to perfect for almost 6 years now.  Feeling like I should be farther along in that process than I am, especially when people expect me to have particular knowledge or skills or wisdom, having been promoted almost two years ago.  I feel like I know a lot of stuff, while at the same time, I feel like I don't really know much of anything.

Sometimes, it's really frustrating to be a black belt.

And it's frustrating to be injured.

I'm hoping that the change in routine tonight will help jolt me back into something resembling motivation. I'm sure I'll have more to say on the topic, but for now, I'm glad I forced myself out of the house.

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Thumb is Broken

Doing a spin kick last Tuesday morning, I lost my footing and landed directly on the tip of my extended right thumb. So lovely, pictured here 5 days later.
So many pretty colors.  An X-ray done the following day confirmed that I did indeed break the top bone, just above the joint.  It will heal in 4-6 weeks without surgery or pins, provided I keep it splinted and don't do anything stupid to it. Sigh.

The timing of this kind of sucks. I'm preparing for the possibility of testing for 2nd Dan in 3 1/2 months, and last month, I started cross training in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu during the gaps in my Jung Sim Do schedule. Although I was told no martial arts for 6 weeks, I haven't actually cut back much.  Activity in most of my classes can be modified, and I've pretty much been keeping my regular schedule. And keeping the thumb carefully splinted.

My teachers remind me that this is an opportunity to use my left hand more, to think outside the box and get creative with the techniques, to explore my options without my right hand, to focus on teaching and mentoring. Maybe if my attitude about it improves, I'll get to that.  For now, having to modify my workouts and everything else I do, including bathing, dressing, writing, driving, and usual stuff around the house is making me scattered and pissy.

The cold weather is not helping in that regard.  Temperatures have been in the single digits this week, and below zero with the wind chill.  Another winter storm is heading our way this weekend.
Even with multiple layers on, I'm always cold in the winter, and my fingers and toes are downright icy right now.  This, of course, exacerbates the pain in the thumb, and the doc warned that Advil would slow the bone's healing process (I had no idea!), so I have not taken it. Pain also makes me scattered and pissy.

Grouchy, grouchy, grouchy.

On a less grouchy note, I'm home today for a much-deserved day to relax and regroup.  Things are generally going well.  I've been working a lot, and work has been more challenging and interesting lately as I'm seeing more kid and teen neuro patients.  Evening time has been split between JSD, BJJ and Judo.  Tonight, I'm doing Bikram Yoga with Middle and then heading to my weekly Judo lesson, which has been a welcome change from Friday night sparring where I was in a serious rut.  Bikram is "Hot" Yoga. The room is at least 105 degrees, which will feel great on a day like today.  Middle and I will sweat buckets.  Tonight's Judo is a semi-private lesson with a 2nd Dan Judoka who is fixing my throws and making me love Judo almost as much as he does. After that, there will be dinner and wine with a group of dojang women for some laughs and bonding time.  All good stuff.

Keeping things in perspective.  I'm almost 25% through the worst part of my healing process and I'm staying very busy with things I like doing. And I had a relaxing day to catch up and even update my blog. :)

Will try to write more as I continue to prepare for my test.