Ego check-up

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wow, it's amazing what a few surgical incisions and almost 2 months off can do to your game.. and perhaps even more important, your perspective.


like mine with a helping of "Just Win Baby!" Syrup.

Like most people in sports I suffer(ed) from a sort of "Win at all costs" attitude. Yes, it's not for lack of trying, but frequently the "old Ego" gets it's way and decides that a loss is.. well it's just plain unpleasant and must be avoided at all costs. Even more so, heaven forbid that loss actually occur, the Ego will start in on me the moment I stop.. things like..

"How could you let that happen? I thought you were better than that."


"Sigh, your game is sucking wind today, heck when was the last time it wasn't?"


"I've seen octogenarians with better moves!"

Yes, as you can see the Ego still plays a roll in my "rolls", and today was no different. You'd think having just returned to my first full week of activity since painful Hernia surgery I wouldn't mind "losing a few to get back into the groove". Oh no, that same old Ego crept in and the berating tone was there before I could get up..

Now, here's where things changed, months ago if something like this happened I would have avowed to double my efforts, spend more time practicing, grab a friend on a weekend, try to hit a private, etc, etc.

You know what happened this time?

I smiled and thought, I don't have time for that any more, I have a daughter that's rapidly growing up, a business that is expanding into foreign markets, I have language lessons, and home improvement work, I have to spend time with my wife, and make sure my customers and clients are happy.

Bottom line, I just don't have time to "worry" about my Jiu-Jitsu anymore.

And you know something, I think that might not be such a bad thing after all, it's time to just have some fun for a while and see how things go, I promise I'll give my body more leeway as things gradually improve, but most importantly, no more worrying about my game, it's time to just play again.

Go "play" and have fun!

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I'm back Baby!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I am the Phoenix

I am the Phoenix.

"A phoenix is a mythical bird with a tail of beautiful gold and red plumage (or purple and blue, by some sources [1]). It has a 600-800 year life-cycle, and near the end the phoenix builds itself a nest of cinnamon twigs that it then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self."

-Source Wikipedia Phoenix (Mythology)

Ok, so I'm no phoenix, but I "rolled" for the first time in 6 weeks on Friday.

Wow, there was so much rust you could break it off with your hands.. but.. well, Good Lord it was good to be back.

Here's what I did (and I was clearly very happy with the outcome).

I called one of our instructors and set up a private lesson for Friday morning. Sure privates are more expensive, but here's my logic.

1. I still have small surgery scars on my abs, making certain passes/sweeps difficult, I wanted to roll/train with a professional that would have the utmost in control.

2. It's been a while, and anyone with a few years of experience know that when the "more experienced" guy is injured or recovering he can look just like chum to a gung ho newbie, a new ruptured hernia wall I DO NOT need.

3. I wanted to have fun and get up to speed on what I missed.

All in all, great session, no real rolling as I would describe it, but a few impromptu flows that were at perhaps 40% strength, bottom line it really felt great to move, turn, roll, and spin in a manner that 4 weeks ago I thought I'd NEVER be able to do again.

Does this mean I'm back to 100%? No, not hardly, it means that starting Monday I go through two weeks of conditioning and perhaps one "live fire" class where I act smart and say "no" when needed to maintain the continued recovery.

So, interested in my "return to conditioning" training for next week? I'll post some stills/videos or something to show what I'll be doing, everything comes from my good buddy JC Santana's materials, all of which you can find here.

Nice to be back, and even nicer to be able to share it with you guys.


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Week 3 in the books.. 1 more to go

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good stuff guys and girls, today starts my final week of "no substantial training".

Last week was a great milestone, I built up from long walks to 30-40 minutes per day of medium resistance Spin Bike training. After a hernia operation it take a little while for the lower core to start feeling up to "snuff" as it were, so being able to get a few 30-40 minute Spin Bike sessions with no before/during/after pain was the stuff of celebration.

So far the recovery plan is progressing nicely.

Phase 1 - Rest and no activity, Vitamin C, eat well, 1 nap per day (Week 1).

Phase 2 - Walking (20-30 miuntes), Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 2).

Phase 3 - Walking + Spin Bike (Low to Moderate resistance), Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 3).

Phase 4 - Walking + Spin Bike + Low resistance Stretching, Vitamin C, eat well, 8 hours per night (Week 4). (Planned)

Now, once we hit the "Return to Training" week I'm going to be scheduling a few private lessons with one of my instructors. This isn't so much to clear the rust (of which there will be plenty), it's more to control the intensity, if anything goes "south" while training I want to be rolling with a professional that will stop immediately.

Also, Weeks 5 & 6 will be bodyweight style training only, we'll gradually bring the intensity back up, but that should let me evaluate my body's response to resistance training on a day to day basis, and again if something goes south at least it won't be under load.

Oh yes, before I forget, all this time off has taught me a valuable lesson.

Short breaks (1 week) every 6/8/10 weeks of training is an excellent way to encourage growth and healthy muscles/joints/bones.

Thanks for listening guys.. 1 week left!

Recover Fast!


2 weeks down.. 1/2 way to full recovery

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's true what they say, the body is amazing at it's ability to adapt and heal itself.

I'm at the two week point and today my 40+ minute walk was 95% pain free, contrast that to a week ago when I was feeling beat up by the time I hit the 15 minute mark!

Today marks two complete weeks of doctor mandated healing and recovery, and while boring and at times unpleasant, here's a few things I've learned that I thought would be good to share with you should you ever find yourself in my situation.

1. Read more, and I'm not just talking BJJ books, I'm talking all sorts of books you'd never normally pick up. So far I've read "Three Cups of Tea" and "The Road", both completely different, but both enjoyable when there's not much else you can do.

2. Take your vitamins, in particular Vitamin C, everything I've read indicates Vitamin C is a great nutrient for assisting "tissue regeneration", which after surgery is plenty important.

3. Spend time with your family/wife/girlfriend/etc, use this as a chance to reconnect with your loved ones, trust me, we all could use to do a little more of that from time to time.

4. If you are completely obsessed with "doing something" try to learn a new language. I've been learning Mandarin for work, and sure it's challenging as all get out, but it's good to at very least challenge your mind if not your body.

5. As soon as you are able.. WALK! Get's the blood flowing and helps the recovery process speed along.

6. Stop spending so much time reading silly blogs and go get some rest!

See you all in a week..

14 days to freedom!


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