So, having said all of that regarding the benefits of staying consistent and fully immersed in my training, I hardly trained at all last week.
I didn't actually mean to - it just kind of worked out that way. There was a seminar and promotion ceremony Sunday (Little got his yellow belt in kids' BJJ, 3 friends were promoted to black belt, and one of them proposed to his girlfriend and the video went viral on the internet - but not a lot of free rolling happened), I did kickboxing Monday, but missed Tuesday morning JSD, only taught at BJJ Tuesday night, had JSD picture day on Wednesday, missed Thursday morning JSD and taught my last childbirth class Thursday night.
By Thursday afternoon, I was tense, irritable, anxious, feeling like I was on the tipping point of something awful. Kind of like the way I used to feel every day before I started martial arts.
My rolling itself wasn't amazing Friday night, but I came home happy again. Smiling, joking, pleasant to my family, feeling like my normal self. I can see why everyone is so supportive of me training so much - what a difference in my personality before vs. after! I went back for yoga / no gi Saturday morning, did Sunday morning open mat, taught women's class again Sunday afternoon, watched judo (arm is still healing) and was on fire again Sunday afternoon at open mat.
This week, I have been careful not to miss any classes, and the consistency has paid off. Last night, rolling felt absolutely amazing. I was tapping people I don't normally tap, spending much more time in dominant positions, and feeling strong and confident in general. I came home feeling, not just the lack of tension and crankiness, but full-blown elation from my head to my toes. I was vibrating with happiness, overloaded with every positive brain chemical there is. "The whole world is amazing!" I kept telling Savageman, who, without benefit of an incredible night at jiu-jitsu himself, just rolled his eyes. "I wish you could feel what I'm feeling right now. I love everything!"
Experiencing such a dramatic change in my emotional well-being makes me wonder if the human species in general needs to have this level of regular - not just exercise - but combat to feel normal and healthy and happy. There's really nothing quite like it and I am so, so, so grateful for it.